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Oak Ridge Elementary School

Oak Ridge Elementary Students Bounce Through Lesson in Energy, Force, and Motion

During the field trip, the first-grade students experienced hands-on exploration as they actively engaged in jumping, bouncing, and moving around, gaining firsthand insight into how their actions created energy and force. 

They furthered their understanding through observation, noting how their movements influenced objects around them, such as the vertical motion from jumping or the forward propulsion when pushing off the wall. Additionally, through experimentation, they tested different jumping techniques and surface materials, discovering the cause-and-effect relationships involved.  

Overall, the trip provided a dynamic and interactive environment for our students to explore, discover, and learn about the principles of energy, force, and motion in a tangible way. The first-grade teachers at Oak Ridge stated that this activity was beneficial in more than one way.  

“Being able to interact with students in a setting where they were able to show their true personalities was enlightening,” said Cheyene Banister, first-grade teacher at Oak Ridge. “We also were able to witness students playing with friends they do not usually interact with. Everybody's walls came down and we all enjoyed each other's company while learning about the different movements.” 

The students expressed that one of their favorite parts of the trip was playing and interacting outside of the classroom with their teachers. Both students and teachers enjoyed running the obstacle courses and bouncing around together.  

The teachers decided to take this trip because it was a fun way to capture the students' interests and actively involve them in the learning process, boosting their motivation to explore and understand concepts. 

“Through hands-on interaction with materials and environments, our students bridged the gap between abstract ideas and real-world applications, deepening their understanding,” said Banister. “Since every student learns differently, this trip engaged multiple senses - touch, sight, and even sound - enhancing their grasp of the material. Additionally, teamwork was essential in navigating some of the structures, providing students with opportunities to practice communication skills, share ideas, and learn from one another, thereby fostering critical thinking and comprehension.” 

The first-grade team at Oak Ridge expressed gratitude for the chance to take a field trip like this to broaden students' learning experiences.