PENDLETON - Third-graders at Washington Elementary School got a sneak peak at the world of science and the confusion of high school Monday when they learned how to conduct a science lab at Pendleton High School.
Anne Sokoloski's third graders skipped six grades and two miles to reach Piper Kelm's science class at PHS, where freshmen taught the youngsters how to measure mass and volume to calculate the density of objects such as marbles, paper clips and pennies to determine their density.
"This is a great opportunity for the high school kids and a great opportunity for the elementary kids," Sokoloski said. "It's hands-on, so it's more interesting for them."
Sokoloski said her main goal was to let her students experience a real lab. "We don't have the time or the resources for anything like this," she said of the high school facility.
The idea of pairing high school students with third-graders for a science lab came about when Washington Elementary students went to the FFA land lab last year for a visit with PHS agriculture teacher Erin Heideman's class.
"I thought, 'If they can do this, why not really use our resources and let the students teach them science,'" Sokoloski said.
Using test tubes of water for displacement and balancing scales, freshmen students taught the anxious third-graders all about volume, mass and density. Students were paired at random, and some freshmen had two third-graders to work with.
"I think our whole class was looking forward to this," said freshman Shanna Treloar.
"This is something they'll remember when they're older," added freshman Lexie Garron.
Kelm said preparation for the lab was nothing new for the freshman. "They learned most of this stuff (volume and density) as sixth- and seventh-graders," Kelm said. "But they're excited."
Third-grader Zach Byrd said he enjoyed working with his freshman "teacher" Mandy Hendricks.
Hendricks had just as much fun with her young pupil. "Zach's really cool, not annoying at all," Hendricks said. "I like spending time with kids. It makes me feel older."
Another Washington Elementary third-grade class - taught by Athena Nelson - was scheduled to be at PHS today for a similar lab.