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Emerson Academy Scholars Switch Up Classroom, Celebrate Achievement

Learning environments are everywhere you look, filled with all sorts of educational sights and sounds. For one day, a group of Emerson Academy of Dayton scholars swapped out the whiteboards and erasers for hoops and the hardwood, taking part in Math and Science Day at a Dayton women’s basketball game.
Schools from across the Dayton, Ohio, area gathered for an annual educational day at UD Arena. On top of the regularly scheduled Dayton women’s basketball game, scholars were participants in math- and science-related activities throughout the game.
Emerson’s Dean of Middle School Cierra Williams led a group of 230 High Flyers, scholars who earned a 2.5 or better on the school’s latest interim test, to the game. She said the experience started before the scholars stepped foot in the arena.
“Students receive a before activity where they can do some math activities and then they have a packet to take with them and answer questions while they're on the trip as well,” Williams said. “The in-person packet had the different basketball players’ names in them, so then they are able to watch a certain player and answer questions that include those players’ stats. It might be something like ‘How many points did so-and-so score in this quarter? Now, subtract that from 25.'"
Math and science questions filled the video board and scholars were able to yell out answers aloud. Prizes were also given to students throughout the game.
While scholars got to experience college athletics up close and did some valuable learning, the field trip had another purpose for Emerson Academy. Williams said she enjoys going to School Day events at Dayton basketball games because it is a celebration of the school’s High Flyers, as well.
“It’s a great time to celebrate their accomplishments,” Williams said. “When we tell the scholars we’re going to a basketball game, they get excited. It’s not your typical field trip.”
These opportunities to celebrate achievement are one of the many reasons Emerson Academy has outperformed the local district for 16 years.
Williams said another benefit is providing scholars with a unique experience. She believes scholars need exposure, and this field trip provides them with that.
“I believe the more exposure we give them to different things, the more successful they can be because that translates to academics,” Williams said. “When they get to those state tests and they have questions that they don't understand, most of the time it's because they haven't experienced things outside of their norms. Being able to take them to a college basketball game gives them opportunity to see something that we've been pushing here at Emerson, which is higher education.”
It was the school’s second year attending Dayton women’s basketball’s Math and Science Day, and they look forward to attending again next year.

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About Emerson Academy
Emerson Academy of Dayton is a tuition-free, public charter school in Dayton, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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