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2010 Annual Science Report

Carnegie Institution of Washington Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: First Light Saturday Science School

Project Progress

Carnegie Institution’s First Light Saturday Science School is a program for students in grades 6 through 8 who attend public and public charter schools in the District of Columbia. During the school year, First Light meets for three, 6-week sessions. Astrobiology is used as the overall theme and a different topic is explored in depth for 6 weeks. Students engage in experiential learning in both the laboratory and the field and each session includes an overnight trip. Over the past year, session topics were: 'Our Watery World’, the Power of Water’ and 'Washington’s Water: It’s a Trip’. Students calculated the amount of our planet that is covered by water, made ‘creatures of the deep’ Halloween masks, investigated marine fossils, constructed water wheels to generate electricity, explored the Chesapeake watershed by foot and canoe, designed and constructed water filtration devices and much more . Field excursions included a visit to the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History, hikes and canoe trips along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, exploration of water power at a water park and a trip to the Water Works exhibit at the Hagley Museum in Pennsylvania. Approximately 20 students attend each session and most students return for multiple sessions throughout their middle school years.