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Keystone Academy Hosts Family Science & Nature Night

Keystone Academy families had the opportunity to attend a Family Science & Nature Night at the school in late March. It was a joint effort between Keystone Academy, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and Leslie Science & Nature Center. Around 200 students and family members attended this fun and educational in-person learning event.
 Keystone student and parent

Students and their families could dive into the states of matter while making slime, push and pull their way to understanding forces and simple machines, study how animals adapt to their habitat, and much more as they explored 15 different science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) stations and activities. In addition, there were live animal presentations where students could observe wildlife and interact with specimens.
National Junior Honors Society (NJHS) students, the interventions team, and several teachers helped with logistics for the night. The NJHS students were trained by the museum staff on how to run the station where they were assigned. Stations included slime making, building a paper airplane, or making a small parachute and testing it with a small wind machine.

Keystone students looking at science experiment
“It was great to be together in-person. Everyone just came running in,” said Ellen Poole, academic specialist and one of the event organizers. “The next day at school, kids were bringing their items in to share their good news.”
Other stations educated students about constellations; another was to build an electrical circuit. One station had an iPad to create a film segment using stop motion to give inanimate objects and figures the impression of movement. Another station had drawings of animal teeth where students had to guess which teeth belonged to which animal. There were also a few fossilized teeth to see. There were STEM stations for all age levels.
 student looking through magnifying glass
The Leslie Science & Nature Center brought three animals with them: a barred owl, a snake, and a hedgehog. They also brought items kids could touch and feel. The nature center’s goal is to create moments of discovery that inspire curiosity, exploration and respect for STEM and the natural world.
The Keystone Interventions team organizes a family night twice a year. It takes a fair amount of planning to put these events together. Keystone organizers are: Dean of Interventions and Special Education Stacey Reed, Academic Specialists Cindy Conti, Andria Lumbardo, and Ellen Poole, and Paraprofessional Jennifer Demolen.

student doing science experiment 
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum was chosen in part for its education programs’ goals to provide opportunities for children and adults to awaken curiosity, stimulate observation and exploration skills, and enhance school curriculum. The museum educators design programs that address state and national science and technology education standards.

All students who attended were able to take one prize home. They could pick a game that was about math, science, or English language arts.
Keystone Academy, a school in Belleville, Michigan, is a partner school in the network of over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit