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Persell JUMP Students Became Gardening And Forensic Pros

Jumping Through The Summer

Persell Middle School JUMP student, Sienna Loomis, measured wood to cut her window box as part of the school’s summer learning programs. Students used math, science and technology to learn how to build and maintain a garden. Students also completed a forensics unit combining science, math and English language arts.

Persell Middle School JUMP students learned more about gardening and forensic science through their summer learning program.

Teachers Jayme Genco, David Gee, Lina Scoma, Emily Naetzker, Julie Alfa and Ali Pezzulo, took their students on a journey to gain real-life experiences, while also learning the core curriculum in an engaging way.

“Project-based learning helps the students learn the standards we are teaching better because they get to see the real-life application of those standards,” said Persell teacher Jayme Genco. “When students are taught math standards without being able to apply them to a hands-on activity, there is less translation of learning. Students also feel as though the standards and material being taught are more relevant when they see how it can be applied to real-life scenarios.”

Persell has a wonderful school garden, which was used to teach students about math, not only in building a garden, but also maintaining one. Math was also used to build flower boxes with the help of Technology teacher, Tim Whitacre, which tied into the measurements and volume standards for math. As a science component, students learned how to maintain a garden and the general biology associated with plants and pollination.

During the two-week Forensic unit, seventh and eighth graders had a visit from Jamestown Police Department Detective Craig Damon to learn more about what he does every day and how they can become a crime scene investigator. The forensics unit combined science, math and English language arts. Students also participated in a Clue-style murder mystery around the outside of the school looking for evidence and suspects. Students also assumed the role of a defense lawyer and prosecuting lawyer to argue both sides for their final suspect using ELA standards which included: reading comprehension, summarizing and ultimately claim-based writing. Students conducted a blood spatter lab, which hit on math measurements and scientific experiment standards.

“Summer programs like JUMP are important for our students because a lot of them do not have opportunities to see what our community has to offer and continue their learning throughout the summer,” said Mr. Genco. “Some students who are fortunate enough to vacation or travel continue learning through those experiences, but most of our students do not have that opportunity. Especially in a year where the school attendance was limited, it was essential to keep the routine of school going for many kids.”

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