Ms. Clark and students working on a science lab

Walk into Caroline Clark’s fifth grade class at Black Mountain Elementary School and you will find yourself surrounded by a room full of scientists. 

This year the class is diving into the subject with a very hands on approach. They’ve started the year off by learning about genetics and asking questions like where did the color of my eyes come from? For Ms. Clark, it’s a topic that brings a lot of questions from curious minds. 

“Fifth grade science is the best,” she said. “Using a hands-on lesson to model the variation that occurs as traits are passed from generation to generation can help students make connections.” 

Students were able to make connections as they learned about genetics with a hands-on approach. Students used different colored candy to represent different genetic traits each grandparent passed down to the other generations. The candy was a fun treat for the kids.

“This activity, combined with many others, helped students engage with the material,” Ms. Clark explained. “It revealed many misconceptions related to genetics and where our genes come from.”

On any given day if you wandered in Ms. Clark’s class you would see a room full of young minds learning daily through unique styles. 

“In my class students interact with ideas and each other,” she said. “I want my students to learn how to think critically and deeply about topics. I also want them to be able to persevere when any problem arises.”

Students working on assignment in pairs.

Students working on assignment in pairs.