Rural Scholars testing their homemade airplane launcher at OH WOW in Youngstown in March 2013.
Rural Scholars testing their homemade airplane launcher at OH WOW in Youngstown in March 2013.
This week I went to a wetlands near Guildford Lake Grill. Then after I was there I realized how much of those we need to have. We put in a ig net to try to discover what species live in there. We did not discover as much as we wanted to. We need to get more wetlands so more species can be discovered.
On another day I went to Kent State in Salem. Dr. Freeman was there. He taught me all about hearts. Then he let me dissect a pig’s heart. It was pretty interesting.
Finally the best part was the new kids I met. They were just so fun to be around. Hopefully we get enough money so we can all go to school together.
Thanks to Pete Conkle, Matt Brown, Dr. Freeman, and the mentors for teaching us so much!
Summer camp this week was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot of new things. I learned things such as how to conserve water and how to fish without a fishing pole. I saw a pregnant cow, and I held a baby chicken. I’m glad I got this opportunity to be in this camp. I look forward to it next year. Conserving water is extremely important because we humans have very little fresh water that is available to us.
I’ve made new friends and I’m looking forward to seeing them next year. I saw a snake and I tried to catch it, but it was too fast for me. I learned how to tag a cow. And I saw hen eggs. I learned how to dissect a pig heart at the Kent State Salem campus.
The past three days have been fun. On the first day we went to Beaver Creek to find out how water pollution works. You can do that by lifting up rocks and have a net downstream. When you lift up the rock, stir up the bottom where the rock was.
On the third day we dissected pig hearts. We also saw some cows, chickens, and cats on the second day and took a hay ride. We learned that people should conserve more water, for example by turning the sink off when you’re brushing your teeth.
At the Rural Scholars summer experience we went to Beaver Creek on the first day. We learned about all kinds of animals that lived there. We also learned how to tell if the animals’ ecosystem is good or bad. We caught a lot of crayfish, minnows, and baby fish.
On the second day of the camp we went to Larry Conkle and Pete Conkle’s farm to learn about cows and chickens. They told us about the cows and how they lived and what they did on a daily basis. When we saw the chickens we saw the kind of chicken you eat and laying chickens.
On the last day we learned about the heart and how to check our pulse and how the heart works. We also dissected a pig heart and had lots of fun. Then we started to write this blog. I had so much fun.
This week I went to Beaver Creek and we learned about water and how to keep it clean and tell how it’s clean by the bugs in the stream. I also found that if there are helgramites in the water it means it is the cleanest, so you should be careful what you throw into the water.
The farm had cows, chickens, and kitty cats. They taught us how they tagged the cows and how to take care of chickens.
I have recently participated in the Rural Scholars Program. We have been studying water. I learned many things about water. Many people use more water than they need, and the way I see it is like when people get fries, they might get ranch or something. And the first time they might take a bite, and then they might double dip. And if they do it more and more, germs get in the dipping sauce.
This is the same thing that happens to water when too many people pollute. Water gets used in so many ways, and many of the ways water is used aren’t right. People abuse their usage of water, so we all need to conserve water!
The first day I went to Beaver Creek and a swamp near Guilford Lake. The second day I went to a farm to see how the water worked for pastures and stuff like that. On the last day we went to the campus. I got to dissect a pig’s heart and more!
Last week our first cohort of Rural Scholars participated in our summer experience, Water Explorations. We conducted macroinvertebrate surveys in two water locations, learned about pasture management and water runoff, and worked in a university laboratory. Here are some of the students’ blogs about what they did. More to come! You can also see an album of our activities at our Facebook site.
This week was the Rural Scholars Program’s summer camp. I was really surprised that I got into the program. It was a lot of fun and also I learned a lot of stuff about the environment. Also we learned about agriculture and farming animals. Dr. Freeman told us about the heart.
At the wetlands and Beaver Creek we caught critters. We caught dragonflies, minnows, crawfish, leeches, and water pennies. At Kent State we dissected a pig’s heart. Dr. Freeman showed us the aorta and we found a blood clot in the pig’s heart.
This week the Rural Scholars went with Matt Brown and Pete Conkle from the Soil and Water Conservation District of Columbiana County to Beaver Creek and Firestone-Yeagley wetland off of Depot Rd. in Salem. We got nets and stirred up the rocks and caught crayfish and mayfly larva. At Firestone we caught mudminnows and dragonfly larva.
Then we went to Pete’s farm and learned about pasture management and beef cattle. On the next day we went to the KSU campus of Salem and learned about the heart and then dissected a swine heart to learn further. Thank you to all the teachers for their time, and it was a lot of fun!
Imagine beautiful rolling hills,
a clear water creek,
a beautiful farmhouse snuggled in the sea of green rolling hills.
Curious cows peek with intensity and loving eyes,
chickens voicing their views and ways,
tousled working hands and careful, kind eyes.
Smiles speaking through their wisdom,
curious children and kind young teachers.
Dried grass speaks rumors of drought.
The drought worries caring people
for our rolling hill-land.
Let’s try to conserve our perilous, flowing seas,
the seas we live off of!
This week I went to Beaver Creek and I learned about Water Explorations. I got into the creek and caught little critters. If there are lots of critters in the water then the water most likely has no pollution in it. There is one critter I did not know about. It is called the helgramite. It looks like an underwater centipede and it bites.
I also learned about organic farming and how to have a better farm. The chickens ate maggots inside the cow poop. We also dissected pig hearts.
As a first year mentor I was unsure of what to expect from the whole cause dedicated to Project MORE. I was expecting the aspect of adding a new individual to my list of friends; however, I did not anticipate learning so much from not only my mentee, but also the other mentors involved in this journey. This mentoring can be considered peer mentoring. Peer mentoring is when an individual who is a caring youth is mentoring another youth individual (Toolkit of Effective Mentoring Practices, 2003). Seeing as how I am going to further my career in Early Childhood Education I was able to connect the differences from being a friend and a teacher while mentoring.
After spending several weeks with my mentee, I have figured out that being a teacher and being a friend can fall hand in hand. I am teaching this individual how to build on the little knowledge of literacy that she has. This is not an experience that I have taken part in before in my life. Therefore, I discovered that just as a friend would, I need to develop patience and understanding because results will not happen overnight. I am there to lend support to not only her education within the school system, but also to her life outside of the school’s concrete walls.
I have also found that my communication skills were not what I once thought they were. I used to believe that I could relate to anybody and understand what they were saying to me. However, I have found that adapting communication from one form to another is a task that everybody, mentors especially, should work on. Although I was once in middle school, going back to that form or style of communication is not something that was easy for me. I am so used to discussing topics that include when the length of the next homework assignment and the study topics needed for the upcoming exam. I found that the communication that occurs with a middle school student is completely on a different level. They may be worried about their homework assignments; however, at that stage in their life they are more worried about the boy they like this year and who is wearing what to the upcoming dance. I have learned that when communicating with individuals in middle school being personable is something that is crucial because their lives revolve around true issues that are surrounding them rather than the next homework assignment or the price of gas. Also, these individuals are looking to gain trust from their mentors Therefore, according to the Toolkit of Effective Mentoring Practices (2003), “The most significant predictor of positive mentoring results is whether mentors and mentees share a close, trusting relationship” (p. 19). Therefore, being able to communicate on the level of the mentee is increasingly important.
“Hidden rules” follow individuals in society everywhere we go. Whether it be in a job setting, school setting, or just shopping at the mall for a new outfit; the “hidden rules” of society tend to be in every corner in the environment that surrounds us. In my own life, I have learned that acting a certain way, towards certain people is a “hidden rule”. I can always be myself, but some actions are better suited for various situations. For example, I would not talk about the same ideals to my kindergarten students or administration that I would talk about with my close circle of friends. Although I have not necessarily shared my findings with my mentee, I believe that I have demonstrated what I have learned in my life through my actions towards her. I display behavior that shows I am relating to her because we have discussions back and forth; however, I make sure to censor what is said and the actions or facial expressions that are taken when speaking with her. I want to be sure to communicate a sense of positive self-esteem and belief in oneself. Therefore, we discuss how well she is doing her academics and her social life because her social life is something she enjoys. By doing this, I am able to make a close connection with her that will in turn improve her education. Also, these close connections will foster better communication and interaction with peers and parents (Rhodes, 2002).
These “hidden rules” connect to both college and secondary education. Participation in class and being on time are of the same expectations for both forms of education. However, some expectations differ. In secondary education, some actions that a student takes seem to be let go more easily. In college; however, you are expected to act a certain way and an impression is made based on how you act. As a first generation college student, making sure that these expectations are met is something that is taken at a very high standard. I want to make sure that my first attempt at college in my family is given not only a good name, but a good impression as well. This mentoring experience has taught me how to interact with others in both a professional and casual element. I plan on taking this experience and applying it to my ever day life as much as possible.
The Rural Scholars Program is off to a great start for the spring pilot with our recruitment of three outstanding undergraduate mentors to work with sixth graders in Crestview and Southern Local school districts. Each of these mentors is a first generation college student who grew up in Columbiana County, just like the younger students with whom they’ll be working. The mentors will receive training that will serve as the foundation for their work with groups of sixth graders and, later, with the first cohort of seventh graders admitted to the Rural Scholars Program for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to their work offering interactive financial literacy programming for the sixth graders, the mentors will develop small grants to support additional programming, contribute to the seventh grade summer camp curriculum, and volunteer as literacy mentors for middle schoolers in Southern Local’s Project MORE.
Amanda Donithan is an Early Childhood Education major who enjoyed playing volleyball in high school. Although she works three days a week at the Skyline Diner and takes a full courseload at Kent State’s Salem campus, she still finds time to babysit and do field hours for her degree because she loves working with children.
Breanna McCreary is a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice who is still hoping to squeeze in an Art major as well. She says she loves discovering new things, enjoys reading, writing, and creating art, and has helped with Vacation Bible School at her church for many summers. She hopes through this program to have more opportunities for creative exploration with children.
Ryan O’Donnell is an Early Childhood Education major who hopes one day to teach third graders – his favorite age group. He believes strongly in the value of being a lifelong learner and compares mentoring to “planting a garden” observing that, “you cannot just plant a seed and expect it to grow, you have to nurture it. It’s the same when you plant seeds in a child’s mind.”