Should schools develop relationships with universities?

Today I am chaperoning my daughter’s seventh-grade science class trip to the Arizona Statue University’s Marston Exploration Theater where they are going to see a 3-D planetarium show and tour the schools of Astronomy and Geology with ASU students.

Earlier this month, engineering students from ASU’s Barret Honor’s College came and taught a robotics lesson to her class.

And a few weeks before that her class went to the ASU Engineering School to participate in another engineering experiment.

I LOVE all the exposure our middle students are getting to college science programs. I love that they are working in a university-level laboratory and participating in college-level experiments. I love that they are able to observe how the college students are experimenting and learning what those programs are all about.

The university is just down the road from our school, and I am so glad the middle school science teachers have cultivated this relationship and are making the extra effort to coordinate these experiences for our students.

Earlier this year, Rose helped her science teacher from last year with an science exhibit at ASU. They held a “Geek’s Night Out” and Rose helped her teacher show kids how to build a wind turbine. I was impressed the Rose was able to explain the concepts to the kids and direct them to build their own.

In New Jersey, we are looking at an elementary school that is affiliated with a teacher’s university. The student teachers work in the classrooms so you have a very low ratio of students to teachers. Plus they are bringing in new teaching concepts and keep the older teachers up-to-date on new theories.

I think it benefits everyone – the university and the lower schools – when these types of relationships can be built.

Atlanta has so many universities that you would think there would be opportunities for these types of relationship. If I was a middle school or high teacher in the metro area, I would be all over Ga. Tech for programs.

Are your schools cultivating relationships with local colleges or universities? Are they bringing in students to help with experiments? Are they visiting college labs? Are they introducing new theories or concepts by bringing in college students and professors?

32 comments Add your comment

Mother of 2

April 15th, 2014
11:03 am

Love this idea! Our schools in Atlanta do have relationships with the local colleges, although not the exact same programs that you have. I think that the schools closer into the city have better access than those out on the suburbs.

HB

April 15th, 2014
11:32 am

Not just universities — museums and science centers with expert staff, collections, and even lab facilities are great for partnerships that go far beyond typical field trips too. Many also offer professional development programs for teachers.

catlady

April 15th, 2014
11:57 am

When we were in Tallahassee for grad school, the gifted program kids got served pull out each day, and they also went to Florida A and M university one day a week for special classes. My son REALLY benefited from this! I remember one class he took was on annotating music.

I was always sadly surprised that the Torrance Center, when we were at UGA, did not have a similar outreach, except in the summer. So much of what the University did would have been beneficial if they worked with the Clarke County Schools. Maybe they do now?

xxx

April 15th, 2014
1:52 pm

APS too busy cheating to bother with educating students.

Me

April 15th, 2014
2:21 pm

I think these opportunities are great and certainly wish the availability had been present when I was in middle school back in, you know, the middle ages. (And I think that should probably be “state” instead of “statue” but…)

Kat

April 15th, 2014
2:23 pm

I would like to see them change the name from “Geek’s” to “Science Night Out” to lessen the stigma, but I get what they are saying.

I hope they cultivate similar relationships in NYC, as this sounds like something Rose is well suited to participate in and she enjoys.

HB

April 15th, 2014
2:52 pm

“Geek” is an embraced term now, Kat. Get with the times! ;)

Macy

April 15th, 2014
5:12 pm

The Board of Regents just approved a 9% hike for college tuitions. They didn’t bother to ask parents….

Blair

April 15th, 2014
7:09 pm

Major cool Mom points for you, on this one!

K's mom

April 15th, 2014
8:25 pm

We live in Auburn, AL and our public schools do similar type programs and it is one reason why our public schools are outstanding. We also have the benefit of swim lessons with national championship and Olympic swimmers. Sports clinics with all SEC athletes and an education culture which is academics heavy and parent/student involvement is better than anywhere else I have seen. I think these types of relationships can only enhance the education of all involved.

Kat

April 16th, 2014
9:04 am

@HB: I am “with the times” thank you. My husband is a self-professed “geek,” as is my daughter. But have you noticed the bullying of nerds and geeks continues? Get with the times and note the suggestion is for the “idea” of what is happening not the ignorance of the term. Girls have long been on the outskirts of things, and certain terms continue to have poor connotations.

FCM

April 16th, 2014
10:01 am

@ MJG sorry I did not get back to you….long story short I got sick in the last two days and I am only now resurfacing.

I think that programs with the arts should be encouraged too. Not every child will be a scientist and not every child will become the next YoYo Ma.

HB

April 16th, 2014
10:13 am

I was teasing you, Kat. Put a wink in and everything. Get a grip.

A reader

April 16th, 2014
12:36 pm

My daughter’s high school is cultivating a relationship with the hospital that is a mile from the school. The vision is that in the near future doctors and other hospital staff will give seminars and perhaps even teach a lecture style class.

FCM

April 16th, 2014
2:17 pm

@ A Reader why would people want to be doctors? With the current healthcare laws anyway it would not be a field I would encourage my kids into.

Kat

April 16th, 2014
5:14 pm

@HB: Get a grip on your inane comments. Then we’ll have a respectful discussion. ;)

HB

April 16th, 2014
6:56 pm

Touchy, touchy! *eyeroll*

motherjanegoose

April 17th, 2014
5:42 am

Dear Blog Friends…

TWG has emailed me to tell everyone that her home internet is not working at her house and thus cannot post a new topic. She sent this to me on her phone. She is trying to get out somewhere, wiht internet, to post a new topic.

In the meanwhile, here is something chat about…haha:

Yesterday, I received an invitation to a baby shower. The event is next Saturday. The Mommy to be is a daughter of a dear neighbor, who lives on our block. We like the family a lot. That wedding was last spring and we did not get invited. I mentioned this to another neighbor and was told, ” They are trying to keep costs down as weddings are so expensive.” I saw the pictures on FB. There were quite a few people there. I am chuckling that I am getting invited to the baby shower but did not get invited to the wedding. HMMM.

BTW I did send a small gift for that bride/groom and I I DID get a thankyou note, I will send a small gift for the baby shower too. Just seems odd that I was not invited to the wedding but am invited to the shower.

motherjanegoose

April 17th, 2014
5:43 am

@ FCM…hope you feel better.

Kat

April 17th, 2014
6:48 am

@HB: Yawn…

HB

April 17th, 2014
7:30 am

I think it’s fine to invite different guests to baby showers and weddings. I think in most cases it’d be tacky to invite someone to a wedding shower, but not the actual wedding, though. And of course, no one invited to anything is obligated to attend or send a gift. It could be that because you sent a gift for the wedding you weren’t invited to that they thought you might wish to be invited to a baby shower and that they should include you if they could.

@MJG

April 17th, 2014
3:24 pm

Maybe Teresa wasn’t invited to the wedding because inviting her entire family means inviting 5 people – that’s a LOT for a wedding. Caterers don’t always charge differently for children at weddings. I only invited the people I’m very closest with to bring their children to my wedding – partly because of costs and partly because we wanted to keep it small.

Denise

April 17th, 2014
3:28 pm

I agree with HB. Weddings are much more expensive than showers so the guest lists may be a bit less “restricted” so to speak. Plus, in my thought, you want special people at your wedding, not everyone you know. Mom’s friends may not make the cut for the expensive wedding but will for a shower. I wouldn’t think anything of it. MJG, you are a very generous and gregarious woman so I know you enjoy getting invited to events AND enjoy giving thoughtful gifts (many do not!). Just enjoy what you are included in.

Hidden Agenda

April 18th, 2014
11:33 am

They would benefit far more by developing relationships with local businesses so that kids can really find out what the working world is about, what different careers are about, etc. or even what the marketplace and running a business are like so maybe these kids will become entrepreneurs instead of simply wage slaves making someone else’s business successful.

This belief that education is simply about getting a job and finding a prettier hamster wheel to run on for the rest of one’s life is a major downfall in our thoughts as a nation and a citizenry. Not that long ago education was about enriching oneself and not just about job training.

FCM

April 18th, 2014
12:27 pm

@ Hidden Agenda…you actually wrote something that with which I can agree!

Pat

April 18th, 2014
12:34 pm

The AJC should develop a relationship with someone who A. Actually lives in Atlanta and B. Cares enough to take a laptop to……(fill in the blank with any of the thousand of places with wifi.) Apathy!

buckheadgirl

April 18th, 2014
2:18 pm

As parents we have emergency back up plans. I would hope all professionals also have something in place for their work lives.

motherjanegoose

April 18th, 2014
3:55 pm

Hello all…

TWG is quite busy now and while she does want to continue the blog it is NOT a full time job nor her # 1 priority. I have no idea what they pay her to write the columns but I am pretty sure it is not $200-$300 per day. If you are a professional and get paid that much, you would have a back up plan. If you get say $50 a topic, who cares? Especially if you are not on a contract and it is not like we are paying to see something new each day. I could be wrong but I think this is kind of a side line job, just to keep her journalistic juices going. I also think it is freelance and not a specified number to turn each week.

FYI @ MJG……the wedding thing was about MY family and more specifically my husband and myself being invited.The parents of the mom to be are wonderful neighbors. We have invited them to venues we hosted. They attended. It would have just been the two of us. I really feel I am out of touch with what is now acceptable. I received a graduation announcement from a girl whose mother I know. The girl does not know me at all and I would not know her if I ran into her at the grocery store. Plus, it was out of town.

@ Hidden Agenda…this is why both of my kids have worked all the way through college. My daughter is in an event planning class that actually visited her place of employment to observe set up. The professor has no idea she works there. She did the set up earlier in the day. He asked questions and she was the only one who had a clue. On the job experience for her!

jan

April 19th, 2014
8:45 am

Guess there is a public library where the blogger lives. I would love to phone in when my internet goes down (home office here) but I have to go find an internet source and work from there. I think it’s time the AJC woke up and found a new blogger that was interested in the blog they are writing.

Me

April 19th, 2014
9:10 am

@MJG I think we understand the points you make on @TWG’s behalf but, in the defense of the readers and followers of this blog, there was a precedent set when, at least once prior, Andy Johnston filled in with some interesting topics.
I consider it a compliment to @TWG that, in her brief absence, she has fulfilled the proverbial “always leave thrm wanting more…”. :-)

HB

April 19th, 2014
10:51 am

MJG, I think you inadverdently made the critics point for them. This isn’t a priority for Theresa, and probably for a number of good reasons — lack of time, amount paid — but that makes the blog look unprofessional. Emailing a regular commenter to make her excuses for her? She has internet access through her phone. While it would be difficult to post a full blog entry in Wordpress that way, she could easily login and leave her own short comment (although why she’d publicly make such a lame excuse is beyond me). Other bloggers take announced breaks when someone may or may not fill in — fine. Just not showing up, though, looks bad. I can absolutely understand why T might not care much anymore or have the time and energy to deal with this, but it’s not her blog or discussion group — it’s the AJC’s. I don’t understand why the editors don’t care enough to either shape it up or shut it down.

Pat

April 19th, 2014
12:57 pm

BTW, the Apathy! comment was directed at the AJC, not the blogger.