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Teaming together to teach science in Murfreesboro

GSK Science in the Summer and Tennessee’s statewide initiative Read to be Ready come together for kids in Murfreesboro.

Dale McCreedy, Vice President of Audience & Community Engagement for The Discovery Center Museum in Murfreesboro, needed a new way to connect and inspire the communities, and students, it serves – particularly students with reading challenges and those in isolated learning environments. When she learned about the GSK Science in the Summer TM program, she was intrigued and eager to join the Science of Sports with the statewide initiative to increase literacy in Tennessee. 

Dale, her team, and the local libraries had been looking for ways to strengthen existing educational programming, while offering as many educational opportunities to children as possible during their limited contact in the summer months. Across Tennessee, there is a statewide initiative called Read to Be Ready – a literacy program provided free to children identified as having some challenges with reading. The Science of Sports, especially with the What is a Scientist? book component, fit right into the summer literacy camp curriculum.

“One of the site directors shared that the focus of the science programs helps them consider the topic for some of their book giveaways, making the connection between reading and science even stronger,” Dale said.  She believes that kids will learn to love to read and learn to love science when they are interested in the topics like sports or space.

The addition of Science in the Summer to The Discovery Center and the libraries’ offering exceeded Dale’s expectations. “It’s extremely gratifying to be able to provide such a well-rounded, engaging learning experience to such a diverse group of students,” she said. “The children loved the sports theme, and the hands-on activities really ignited a passion for science that was supported by the related reading materials we provided. It all worked together for a very comprehensive, enriching program for all of us.”

The GSK Science in the Summer program, which is in its 31st year of operation, now reaches more than 25,000 kids across the country per year, and has nearly 200,000 alumni to date. The 2017 program focused on the Science of Sports – allowing kids to explore how their favorite sporting activities link to STEM. In 2018, the program will focus on the Science of Space and, if the stars align, these young scientists will join us for another summer.