As RVMS eighth graders Jaden Wells and Alexis Klinkner were working on a science lab in Michael Meeker’s room one day, and during that lab they determined they wanted to help.
“They asked me if they could help by preparing a lab for the class,” Meeker said. “In five years I have never had a student ask me that.”
The two volunteers got to work spending time during their study hall planning a lab to help their peers learn more about volcanoes all the while still meeting the state standards and the goals Meeker wanted to accomplish. What they knew was eighth graders like hands-on learning and they like food.
So, they decided to develop a lab project that would have the students build volcanoes.
Wells and Klinkner came up with the idea to use cakes, and so they baked the material that became the foundation for each of several volcanoes the students created.
“We brought the cakes and the other students brought in the other material they wanted,” said Wells.
Klinkner said she learned a lot from the experience, especially about what it takes to put together a lesson.
“The teachers do that every day,” Klinkner said, adding it was a lot of work.
Meeker said the students were 100 percent engaged in the task, and he believes they learned a lot about the topic.
“The students took charge of their own learning and for a teacher that is something you always hope to see,” said Meeker.
With that first student-led experience now in the books, Meeker said other students have ex-pressed interest in doing the same thing.
He is willing to work with the students, because he believes it teaches them valuable lessons about leadership, problem solving and organization.