The Harding University Partnership School, which since January 2010 has been partnered with UC Santa Barbara and in particular UCSB’s Gevirtz School, will bring the school’s fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students and teachers – and many parents, too – to the UC Santa Barbara campus on Tuesday, April 24 from 9 am – 12 pm. This will be the tenth annual visit for Harding to UCSB. Students will take part in activities aimed specifically for their grade levels and designed to enhance the curriculum they have been studying in their Westside school.
“Although UCSB is not far away in actual miles it can seem very distant from the Harding community,” Dean Jeffrey Milem of the Gevirtz School says. “By attending UCSB for even just a half day, it makes it seem possible they can return when they are old enough to enter as full-fledged students. This annual visit isn’t just about education, it’s about promise and hope.”
The fourth graders will work with Andy Lanes from the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration and the award-winning Kids in Nature Program. The students will participate in a series of hands-on activities aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. The students will have the opportunity to learn about plants and animals through engaging activity stations including birds and their habitats, wetland ecosystems services, wetland plant adaptations, a food web game, and hands-on restoration planting native wetland plants.
The fifth graders will work in two different groups. The section “Balance – in Poetry and Motion” will be led by Gevirtz School Professors in the Department of Education Danielle Harlow and Diana Arya. The children will participate in activities that explore balance, gravity, motion, engineering, art and literacy. They will engage in the engineering design process to collaboratively create kinetic balancing sculptures using everyday materials. They will then write haiku poems inspired by their sculptures. The second group will work on the project Rockets in Space with the support of the Early Academic Outreach Program. The students will learn about Newton’s Law of Motion, gravitational forces and pressure.
The sixth graders will visit the REEF (Research Experience & Education Facility), the Marine Lab and Campus Point Beach, with Scott Simon, Outreach Coordinator of the Marine Science Institute. Students will engage in hands-on activities and explorations that focus on 6th grade level Earth and Life Science content.
Numerous opportunities will be available to talk to students and get wonderful footage of youth learning in action.
The historic Harding School – whose students are as of 2018-19 87.6% Hispanic, more than 82.1% economically disadvantaged, and more than 49.2% of its pupils are English Language Learners – has been involved in major changes over the past several years. These efforts were punctuated by the January 2010 announcement of an unprecedented partnership with UC Santa Barbara.
The Harding University Partnership School is a place of joy, excellence, and international focus. Of particular distinction for the neighborhood is the University School’s status as an International Baccalaureate Program, making it the only Santa Barbara elementary school currently pursuing this highly acclaimed approach that emphasizes 21st century skills and international mindedness.
The stellar teaching staff is assisted by graduate level teacher candidates from UCSB providing greater support for students at every grade level with the latest research-based practices. Faculty researchers and UCSB undergraduate tutors partner with teachers to deliver the latest evidence-based instruction.