With the Ohio River rolling past just outside the windows, Louisville Water Tower Park was the perfect backdrop for the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) science curriculum team to unveil a new teaching tool to its teachers. The new unit is called “Weathering, Climate, Water Cycling” and was introduced to about 25 sixth grade science teachers last week. Lacey Eckels, the content lead for science at JCPS, conducted the three-hour in-service training.
Eckels says they are in year one of a three-year curriculum refresh for middle school students. They are using new instructional units through OpenSciEd, an open-source curriculum program. OpenSciEd provides teachers with instructional units that get all students excited and curious about the world around them and confident in their ability to shape it through questioning, investigating, and solving problems.
“This 6th grade science unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets,” she explains. “In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation.”
Eckels said she was thrilled to have Louisville Water host the event. Louisville Water Tower Park employees shared an overview of the facility and outlined the Louisville Water educational resources available to teachers. Teachers were also given a Louisville Water watering can with a packet of seeds, a Louisville Pure Tap™ reusable water bottle, and other Louisville Water goodies.
“When I took my role as K-12 Science Lead five years ago, one of my top goals was to enhance JCPS Science’s relationships with our community partners,” explained Eckels. “I reached out to Channa Newman (Education and Outreach Manager at Louisville Water) to meet and talk through what Louisville Water’s story could be within JCPS. We began a partnership that strengthened Louisville Water’s relevance within our current instructional materials.”