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Joshkurutz
Contributor II

How should a local section handle middle school education?

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ACS Colleagues,

Like many local sections, the Chicago Section has committees dedicated to education: primary school, high school, higher ed, and continuing education. In this framework, who should be in charge of middle school education? Around Chicagoland, it's common for primary to cover K-5, for middle school to cover grade 6-8, and for high school to cover grades 9-12, but some districts use slightly different ranges.

Should we be including activities appropriate for middle schoolers (age ~11 to 13) in our High School Education Committee, or should they be in Primary Education? Primary Ed. usually involves simple outreach efforts such as one finds with tabletop demos, but High School Ed. is usually geared for students getting ready for college and taking exams for scholarships. We have an award-winning program for Boy Scouts and another for Girl Scouts, but it seems like the merit badges and activity patches earned in these programs primarily draw students in the middle school age range, and focus on skills in between simple outreach and rigorous college prep.

Should we create another committee for Middle School Education? Does anyone else do this? Or should we reconfigure our Primary Education committee to be the "Primary and Middle School" Committee?

Thanks for your input.

- Josh Kurutz (2014 Chicago Section Chair)

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PattiGalvan
New Contributor III

Re: How should a local section handle middle school education?

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The Education Division of ACS groups Elementary and Middle School together. For example I work in the K-8 Science Office at ACS. That being said, the level of activities, how we interact with, and types of responses we can expect are different when it comes to middle school students. They are their own breed and, when it comes to programming, they are often forgotten.

In the U.S. primary grades are often considered to be K, 1, and 2 while intermediate grades are grades 3, 4, and 5 and middle grades are commonly 6, 7, and 8. High school is commonly grades 9-12. The Next Generation Science Standards group the grade levels the same way. This is in no way universal, though. It may be best to follow the grouping established by the school district where you most often conduct outreach.

At ACS we developed a free curriculum for middle school teachers to use with their students at middleschoolchemistry.com. Feel free to use in your own outreach with middle school students. And if you like it, please share this resource with the middle school science teachers you meet. You will likely find that they are incredibly grateful to ACS for creating this resource specifically for them.

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PattiGalvan
New Contributor III

Re: How should a local section handle middle school education?

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The Education Division of ACS groups Elementary and Middle School together. For example I work in the K-8 Science Office at ACS. That being said, the level of activities, how we interact with, and types of responses we can expect are different when it comes to middle school students. They are their own breed and, when it comes to programming, they are often forgotten.

In the U.S. primary grades are often considered to be K, 1, and 2 while intermediate grades are grades 3, 4, and 5 and middle grades are commonly 6, 7, and 8. High school is commonly grades 9-12. The Next Generation Science Standards group the grade levels the same way. This is in no way universal, though. It may be best to follow the grouping established by the school district where you most often conduct outreach.

At ACS we developed a free curriculum for middle school teachers to use with their students at middleschoolchemistry.com. Feel free to use in your own outreach with middle school students. And if you like it, please share this resource with the middle school science teachers you meet. You will likely find that they are incredibly grateful to ACS for creating this resource specifically for them.

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Joshkurutz
Contributor II

Re: How should a local section handle middle school education?

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Thanks, Patti Galvan! This is exactly the sort of definition I was looking for.

- Josh

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PattiGalvan
New Contributor III

Re: How should a local section handle middle school education?

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I am glad to hear that this is useful. I wish I had logged into the network back in December! Anyway, please let me know if I can help you locate activities or resources for your outreach. I know that the Chicago Section has an impressive collection of hands-on activities and demonstrations. My area of expertise is planning and presenting lessons for K-8 students in a classroom setting.

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