By Rahmiir McFall, High School Senior
CAPTS is a high school program that trains older students to teach science to elementary school children. CAPTS students choose a lab and then spend 12+ weeks learning skills to present, teach, and communicate. They also spend time learning about their science subject. Rahmiir and his partner taught “Waves of Sound” to 1st and 4th graders. Below is a reflection of Rahmiir’s experiences with the program!
The youth have always been the next generation of innovators and scientists that will change the world. The Communication And Presentation Through Science (CAPTS) program has shown me a glimpse of the future through the experiences I have had teaching elementary students. Like the children, I learned a number of lessons that will stick with me for life, however, the greatest lessons learned were on planning and adapting.
The first step to any project, planning, played a key role in my experience. My partner Rosa and I discussed the various things we'd say and do in front of the young scientists. We went over our lessons and “scripts” repeatedly every week for about 3 hours. With Dr. Mullins' help, we also changed parts of the script to better fit our style of teaching. With a few changes and an excess of annotations on our script paper to summarize the parts of the script that were lengthy and harder to memorize, we also practiced our lines and the timing of them. Learning how to plan and make an amazing lesson for the students was a big takeaway from my time with CAPTS.
On the day of the event, I was quite nervous but well prepared. Because of the preparations my partner and I did, we learned to quickly adapt to sudden changes in a situation. Using a script is good and all, however sometimes one must improvise. While my partner and I were presenting and speaking, some of the kids were having too much fun for our time's sake. Rosa was showing the kids how sound can create a vibration and move salt. Because of how good the demonstration looked on the camera screen, the students became rowdy and quite relentless in expressing themselves. Using a simple chime, I was able to get every focused again and they kept their audible excitement to a lower degree
The CAPTS experience was great because of the skills it allowed me to develop and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!