Just in time for remote learning, Sanford Research has launched a website to bring the science lab home.
The science outreach arm of Sanford Research, Sanford PROMISE (Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration) has hosted over 9,000 visitors since 2011. PROMISE offers a variety of hands-on opportunities, lectures, virtual lessons and community events.
Amy Baete, director of Sanford PROMISE and Sanford Fit, said the website was developed as a tool to reach students outside the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area where Sanford PROMISE is based.
“When schools stopped visiting us in person because of the pandemic, we were already in development,” she said. “Now, we can offer out-of-the-classroom experiences virtually until we’re ready to welcome visitors again.”
Who can use PROMISE
Anyone can use the PROMISE website. K-12 teachers, parents, after-school programs and community groups will find it especially useful, with free resources geared toward the grade level they work with.
“Our education team works really hard to raise awareness of the research we do at Sanford and inspire students to become future scientists and innovators,” Baete said. “The new website offers something for every age and is just the beginning of what we hope will grow into a collection of science lessons, hands-on activities, video demonstrations, and even scientist interviews. Teachers, students and families can explore careers, learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and see what’s happening at Sanford Research.”
The PROMISE website includes:
- Teacher resources
- Lesson plans
- Printable resources
- Educational slideshows
- Science equipment lending library
What teachers say
One fan of this new resource is Kylie Szwarc, a fourth grade teacher at Harvey Dunn Elementary School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
“As we switch to remote learning, I love that the slideshows are already online and could easily be exported to an online platform,” she said.
She added that worksheets and other resources are easy to download and assign to remote students. She uses some of the lessons to cover the same standards that are in the school district’s current curriculum.
“My students have loved the PROMISE lessons,” Swarc said. “They come away from them using bigger vocabulary and a deeper understanding of topics than with previous lessons. Also, they are so excited about science after finishing these lessons.”
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