• December 22, 2014

SMART kids: Saegert classes get up close look at math, science

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Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2014 4:30 am

They saw a real, live kangaroo, handled models of a heart and stomach, explored computer coding and walked through a 15-foot inflatable Grand Canyon.

That was just a fraction of SMART Kids Day at Saegert Elementary School on Thursday.

The acronym stands for Science and Math Activities that Require Thinking.

Assistant principal Gwen James said the massive day of math and science learning used eye-popping, memory-making lessons to strategically expose students to a profound level of learning.

Students got to design a city using the lines and angles they learned about, bringing a powerful application to what

might be abstract concepts.

“It’s a full schedule of practical science and math applications and it’s all aligned to state standards,” said James, pointing out that the fun includes higher-level, problem-solving thinking.

Fifth-grader Isaiah Rosas knew it was awfully cool learning from a real paramedic the art of sliding a tube down someone’s throat.

Talking about that made fifth-grader Catherine Davis a little uncomfortable.

But she said she also was excited about drawing a city and learning about computer coding.

She also praised lessons on heart rate and blood pressure and walking through an inflated Grand Canyon with its fossil layers and evidence of erosion and sediment collection.

“It was fun,” Rosas said. “I liked seeing all the different jobs people have that they do every day.”

SMART Kids Day included several Killeen Independent School District middle school and high school teachers and administrators giving lessons, and incorporated guests from Fort Hood and area health care facilities.

It was the most educational kind of

field trip without the need for transportation, chaperones and a tight schedule, James said.

Stephanie Rodgers and Sydney Serrano, seniors from the KISD Career Center, spent the day at the elementary school with their veterinary technician teacher, Sarah Crawford, showing students the joys of animal care.

Students moved through stations using stethoscopes, handling models of organs and a jar of preserved chicks and exploring the microscopic world.

“I was thrilled to come talk about agriculture,” said Rodgers, who is training at a veterinarian clinic.

“This is a great opportunity for us to explain what agriculture is about,” she said. “These students will be in high school and some will be our future doctors.”

“Where would we be without agriculture?” Crawford asked the elementary students. “Hungry and naked,” she answered.

Among the few out-of-town guests were Laurie Henry and Pete O’Connor with Trinity Science Solutions of McKinney.

They displayed a patented Grand Canyon model, complete with earth science vocabulary and geology demonstrations.

Earth science is a typical difficult area of testing, said Henry, a former teacher and school administrator.

“We want to show that science is not isolated, that it applies to life,” she said.

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