Its a popular phenomenon on social media and now education professionals are seeing a teaching opportunity in the ice bucket challenge.

Teachers got ready for the new school year by not only preparing their classroms, but also dumping a bucket of ice water on themselves, participating in the well known fundraiser for fighting the disease known as ALS.

The  Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral campaign that has raised awareness and money for research to fight ALS, sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  It is a degenerative disease that destroys nerve cells, resulting in complete lack of muscle control.

Teaching Opportunity in the Ice Bucket Challenge

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Many teachers have combined the challenge with fun back to school exercises, to entertain students and also teach them about helping others.

The challenge goes like this: Post a video online of you getting doused in ice water, and donate money to help battle the disease. Then challenge someone else to do the same.

National celebrities and political leaders including Gov. Jack Markell have participated recently. But over the last week or so, dozens of videos of principals, superintendents and teachers have spread over Facebook.

One video making the rounds in the Colonial School District community is Nicholas Baker, a supervisor of curriculum and instruction, who took the challenge wearing a full suit and tie.

Teaching Opportunity in the Ice Bucket Challenge

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“It’s a chance to have a little fun before school starts,” said Baker. “But we also think it’s a way to grab kids’ attention and teach them an important lesson.”

In some districts, whole school staffs have schemed to outdo other schools to make the best video.

Hanby Elementary had a back-to-school barbecue Thursday to welcome children and parents back. But the highlight of the event ended up being a long row of teachers dumping buckets of icy water over each other, one after the next.

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