NIACC Students Help 6th Graders Study Chemistry

By Lindsey Haley
Introduction to Journalism Student
April 10, 2018

North Iowa Area Community College students visited the middle school in Mason City, Iowa starting this year to speak to the sixth-graders about chemistry in the classroom. By doing so, the NIACC students are giving back to the community.

When it comes to helping the Mason City School District, NIACC students are not hesitant to lend a hand. NIACC chemistry instructor Nikae Perkinson got together with Mason City science teacher Lisa Hugi at Lincoln Intermediate School to organize a service project between the middle school students and NIACC students.

In Fall 2017, NIACC students got the opportunity to participate in a service project of their choice. Perkinson gave this project because she wanted to incorporate service learning into her classes. 

“This collaboration allowed short, accessible time periods for my students to assist in chemistry related activities.  It seemed to be a win-win,” Perkinson said.

The NIACC students seemed to enjoy this project. 

This was very beneficial to both the middle schoolers and the NIACC students that volunteered their time, according to NIACC student Samantha Hyde. “It was good for them (middle school students) to see not only their peers doing the experiments but to see the college students helping them do it as well,” Hyde said. 

The middle schoolers were team taught by both Perkinson and Hugi. Perkinson developed PowerPoint slides to guide the lectures and prepared hands-on activities for the students, which Hugi conducted.

“I plan on continuing this project as long as it produces mutually beneficial results for the sixth-grade science students and the college chemistry students,” Perkinson said.

So far, that is what it has done. It has helped NIACC students think about their future in the education field. “It was a good opportunity to work in a classroom because I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a while, and it showed me students different learning styles and increased my interest in possibly being a science teacher,” Hyde said.

It is obvious that this project is benefiting the community, not only for Lincoln Intermediate School, but for the NIACC students as well.