Bringing Home the Data:
The Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School
by Mike Weddle
The Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School (JGEMS) is a public charter school located within Waldo Middle School in Salem, Oregon. The ten-year old school has an enrollment of 90 students in grades six to eight. JGEMS students have classes in all subject areas that are part of a regular middle school curriculum, but the overriding focus for all curriculum areas is the environment.
Teachers are always looking for engaging and meaningful projects for their students. At the same time, government or non-government conservation organizations are seemingly always shorthanded when it comes to conducting all the research projects they would like to do. At the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School (JGEMS) in Salem, Oregon we have been able to use student scientists to conduct these research projects, providing both the assistance needed by the organizations and the engaging and meaningful projects that students need. We have found that projects done in collaboration with non- school organizations provide an incentive and a relevance to research work that may be missing from research done in school. Additionally, collaborating with outside organizations can provide expertise, equipment and even funds that may not normally be available to the classroom teacher. (more…)