SMU takes WMS students outdoors to teach them science and math — while having fun
Cool, weird, gross.
Those were the words used to describe one of the paddlefish caught Tuesday by Saint Mary’s University professor Josh Lallaman for a field day for 100 Winona Middle School seventh-graders.
“It was squishy like a piece of macaroni,” said student Lexi Delano.
“It was slimy but also really cool,” Alyssa Roraff chimed in.
The students were checking out the paddlefish and other Mississippi River fish as part of a field day at Prairie Island, coordinated by SMU geospatial liaison Joe Tadie. Tadie said SMU has been collaborating with local schools to showcase environmental science and to get kids outdoors.
“We’re taking the fun and using it to drive educational purposes,” Tadie said. “The idea is no child left inside.”
The students also participated in other activities like learning how to use GPS technology, compasses, history and invasive species.
All of the activities on Tuesday also tied into state school standards, said WMS math teacher Melissa Shields. For example, one of the activities involved kids playing a round of kickball and then working out statistics like mean, median and mode for things like singles and doubles.
“It’s a great idea to get outside and apply the standards,” she said.
While the kids were thrilled to play kickball, not all were as thrilled with having to do the math.
“It was fun,” said student Sam Spring. “Even if it was math.”
“It was kind of fun, but then we had to do math,” student Jordan Frey clarified.