The University of Nebraska State Museum will host a special free admission edition of Sunday with a Scientist in partnership with the Lincoln Public Schools’ Community Learning Centers (CLC) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) students and faculty on Sunday, April 2 from 1:30-4:30pm at Morrill Hall (south of 14th and Vine Streets on the UNL City Campus).
Middle and elementary school students from Lincoln Public Schools will present their own hands-on activities to museum visitors. The activities will focus on topics of animal behavior including communication, mutualism, mating behavior, natural selection, plus more.
Mentored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students, the LPS students have been researching and developing their hands-on activities for the special free event. The year-long science communication mentorship initiative is led by Dr. Eileen Hebets, biological sciences professor at UNL.
“It is incredibly rewarding to see the creativity, passion, and teamwork that students of all levels bring to this program in general and this event in particular from UNL undergraduates and graduate students to LPS elementary and middle school students,” said Dr. Eileen Hebets. “Our first Junior Sunday with a Scientist, held last fall, exceeded all of our expectations and this spring’s program, led by graduate student Alissa Anderson, is sure to not disappoint.”
The program provides a multigenerational approach to education in the natural sciences. UNL students receive formal instruction on how to construct and deliver effective informal science activities. Trained UNL students then serve as after school science club leaders, working with middle school students in the CLCs. These middle school students and CLC staff, in turn, connect with elementary students in additional joint elementary/middle after school science clubs. This vertically integrated peer instruction design leads to a richer learning experience for all students, and ultimately a broader awareness of the natural sciences.
Sunday with a Junior Scientist is a special edition of the museum’s monthly hands-on science program. LPS middle and elementary school students are host scientists sharing natural science topics to museum visitors. The junior scientists will share scientific information in a fun informal way through demonstrations and activities on April 2.
Free admission for this special event is supported by generous gifts from State Museum donors and the Friends of the State Museum.