I got to go on a field trip today with my 5-year old’s preschool class at Crestwood. I love it how they always have such interesting things for the kids to do.
Last year they visited the police station, fire stations, IDOT, and even the fairgrounds for some cool outside activities. I was curious to see what they’d be doing this year. Well this morning, they loaded up the bus and headed off to the new Paris High School STEM lab!
What, you say? The new high school STEM lab. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I’d been hearing that they’ve been doing some amazing things over there, and this visit certainly proved that.
We were met by Mrs. Brett Block, the teacher responsible for much of the science going on at the High School. I’d been fortunate to know her as the Mom of a couple great Taekwondo Junior Black Belts, but I’d never seen her work in her own environment. Wow.
They had everything ready for the kids, including a student volunteer, assigned to every two preschoolers. The high school students were amazing as they led each small group through a series of short experiments.
Sure, they were basic demonstrations, like showing paper, wetting the paper and letting the kids see how the water affected things. But they got the kids thinking, and feeling like scientists for a day. In another one, they even made “snow” in a ziplock Baggie.
The place was awesome, as you’d expect with a brand new facility, but it was more than that. It was really first class, all the way. I’m not just referring to the STEM lab, although that certainly is true. My understanding is that there are few like it in the entire state.
But the other thing that was first class was Mrs. Block and all of her students. They were both knowledgeable and patient, and did something fantastic. They opened these preschoolers’ eyes to something more. They began to build some bonds that undoubtedly will be remembered. Who knows where it will all lead?
Most of them will be students there in 9 or 10 years, and some of them will go much deeper into science, in that very STEM lab. What a great opportunity for kids to begin thinking about the high school they’ll be attending, before they hit kindergarten!
Well done, Crestwood, Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Henson, and Ms. Tammy too. And kudos to the staff and kids at the new Paris High School, particularly Mrs. Block and her students. They certainly opened our eyes to a whole new world!
P.S. Afterward, I was also fortunate to get a personal tour of the new theater and stage. As a musician who loves the other side of the stage, I have to say I was nearly speechless, and that takes some doing. Wow, again. What an amazing resource we have out there for the whole community!