Interacting with science
Science and fun collided at the Northampton Community College Fowler Family Center during a Cops ‘n’ Kids Literacy Program event Sept. 20. The collaborative event offered students from the Northeast Ministry after-school homework program the opportunity to try their hands at the game of tennis while simultaneously learning about anatomy and physiology.
To kick off this series of science-oriented programming, Cops ‘n’ Kids came together with the Northampton Community College women’s tennis team and Prathysha Kothare, president of Parkland HS’s Science in Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math and Medicine (STEAMM) in Action group.
“We started [the STEAMM program] last fall and our main goal was just to get our students interacting with science, learning about careers and employing them,” Kothare said. “So throughout the year, we had scientists, doctors, chemists come in and talk about their jobs to get students interested.”
After seeing success within her school district, she wanted to reach out to other districts and partnered with Cops ‘n’ Kids President Beverly Bradley to create this program series.
Kothare began the event by speaking to the kids about kinematic motion and demonstrating how to swing a tennis racket. After her introduction, the students split into three groups to participate in three rotating stations.
The Northampton Community College women’s tennis team helped with the first two stations, which encompassed skills at one station and swings at another. At the third station, the students were invited to color their own tennis balls and drawings of tennis players.
“We’re trying to get more active in the community, so this was a project we planned with Bev, and with Parkland, with [Prathysha] here,” said NCC assistant tennis coach Ashley Bennett. “We’re just really excited to get kids involved and interested in tennis.”
In addition to learning about the sport of tennis and the motion involved, Bradley was enthusiastic about the emotional teaching element as well.
“I would love to see this happen on a weekly basis where they learn the control of tennis, because for children to have environments that are hectic, it’s wonderful to learn that control part of it.” Bradley said. “Tennis players traditionally are very much in control and I love that for them.”
The STEAMM in Action monthly program series will continue through May, offering students the chance to explore chemistry, robotics, biology and more in a fun, hands-on environment.