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Electrifying program brings hands-on learning to fourth-graders

August 19, 2014
Melva Stamberger, Purdue Extension-Fulton County Educator, works with fourth-graders to provide them

More than 3,000 fourth-graders in Fulton County have seen the light in their classrooms, literally, over the last dozen years.

Purdue Extension-Fulton County staff, along with Touchstone REMC, have gone to fourth-grade classrooms for more than a decade to teach students how to build circuit boards that power a small light bulb. The project incorporates using tools and learning about electricity while bringing the words from their textbooks to life.

"It ties very closely to what we're doing in the classroom," said Shelly Engle, a fourth-grade teacher at Akron Elementary School. "They actually get to do it rather than just read about it in a textbook. Most of the time without a backup experience, many of them don't retain the information. This will be something they retain and grow from."

Melva Stamberger, Purdue Extension-Fulton County Educator for 4-H Youth Development, said the program also gets fathers, uncles, and grandfathers into the school to help, which gives them a chance to bond with their children.

“Over the years, this project has become more than a piece of wood with metal and wires attached to it," Stamberger said. "It has become a tool that brings family members into the classroom and allows students to learn by doing.”

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