Opinion

Of science, students, labs and all that jazz

The Science Outreach Program focuses on getting students actively engaged in the process of science. - Journal file photo
The Science Outreach Program focuses on getting students actively engaged in the process of science.
— image credit: Journal file photo

“Did you know that the biggest, baddish male fish on the reef changes into a female?”

Dr. Adam Summers shared this story and many others as he entertained the Jazz At The Labs (JATL) audience while taking bids to support three different Fund-a-Need projects for Friday Harbor Labs (K-12) Science Outreach Program (FHLSOP), on Saturday evening, June 14.

Thank you Adam for your fun, informative and successful fundraising style.

“I feel like a real scientist,” and, “I didn’t know fish were so cute,” were just two of the many student comments that Debbie Taylor, Friday Harbor Elementary School teacher, shared with the JATL audience.

Debbie enthusiastically described the FHLSOP 4th, 5th and 6th grade projects that she and her students have been involved with over the years. Thank you Debbie for bringing these projects alive and giving the JATL audience a brief look at the impact the FHLSOP has had on your students.

The 14th JATL evening helped raise funds for Friday Harbor Labs’ Science Outreach Program, a partnership that was established with the San Juan Island School District and the Spring Street International School in 2001.

In this year alone, FHLSOP worked with over 735 local students and 23 teachers reaching students in every grade.

The Science Outreach Program focuses on getting students actively engaged in the process of science. We have developed a set of hands-on, inquiry based projects specifically designed to complement and enhance the current science curriculum at local schools. The program gives students experiences that teachers build on in the classroom.

As a result, students have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in experiments so they realize that they themselves are scientists.

In addition to great jazz, delicious seafood jambalaya and the Fund-a-Need event, we gratefully acknowledged and thanked our generous FHLSOP sponsors. New sponsors this year include: Burke Critchfield, C & E Publications, Post San Juan, Rock Island Technology Solutions and Gary & Susan Sterner.

Our returning multi-year sponsors include:  Cask and Schooner Restaurant, Friday Harbor Drug, Island Petroleum Services, Islanders Insurance, Luxel Corporation, the Olshefsky Family, Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Propane, San Juan Vineyards, Wells Fargo Bank and an anonymous supporter.

Also, FHLSOP receives generous support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, Dr. Carolyn Haugen, San Juan Public Schools Foundation, San Juan Island Community Foundation– Women’s Fund, Port of Friday Harbor and Friday Harbor Elementary School PTA.

Last, but not least, we would also like to extend a special thank you to attendees, musicians, emcees, program contributors, and all the UW Friday Harbor Labs staff who made the 14th annual Jazz at the Labs (JATL) fundraiser event a great success. All proceeds collected from this event benefit the Friday Harbor Labs (K-12) Science Outreach Program.

It is our great pleasure to bring this program to the schools and work with all the individuals who make it possible.

My favorite comment this year was from a 4th grader who, as we identified fish from the beach seine, burst out “This is the best day of my life!”

Our students really shine when given the opportunity to explore in the field, collect data and/or run an experiment themselves.

We hope to see you at the 15th annual Jazz at the Labs event in 2015. Many thanks to everyone involved.

Jenny Roberts, FHLSOP Program Director

Rachel Anderson, FHL Assistant Director of Advancement


 

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