A revolutionary new curriculum utilizing blended learning combines science and history for fifth graders.
The Patriots Point Department of Education in South Carolina will spend more than $400,000 awarded by the state to enrich history and science curriculum in all fifth grade classrooms.
Patriot’s Point has been working on a blended-learning program for the past six years that included the development of learning stations onboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown andtwo supplemental textbooks.
In the science book, fictional characters Oscar, an oxygen atom, along with hydrogen atoms Hank and Hannah, travel to the harbor’s watershed while teaching students about weather, sea creatures and pollution. In the history book, students read about the lives of Willie, a real-life Medal of Honor recipient, and his fictional best friend Harry, who both served together in the Civil War.
While the fifth-graders read through the books, their teachers will have access to an online library of videos filmed onboard the USS Yorktown to guide them along. Each quarter, crews from Patriots Point also plan to live stream video to the classrooms so students can see various parts of the ship, including science labs and the Medal of Honor Museum.
“We are bound by the state standards and what they tell us what we can teach, but we are not bound by the tools and the technology. We’re not bound by how the content is delivered,” said Keith Grybowski, director of education at Patriots Point. “The content is there. We just believe if you put it into a story, kids are going to get it. They’re going to like it, and they’re going to understand it.”
Some of the classes — those that receive grants or travel funding from their counties — will visit Patriots Point to experience six stations that take them through historical scenarios and science experiments, adding leadership and math skills to the educational mix.