Hillview students learn to make cell anatomy and physiology come alive

by Contributed Content on January 24, 2022

This year the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation’s Jeanie Ritchie Innovation Grants (JRG) are funding 22 new programs across all five school sites and the Early Learning Center. This unique program provides over $35,000 to district teachers who want to test out a new idea in their classroom. It’s a way for teachers to think “outside the box” with the financial support to purchase supplies, bring in speakers and try out new hands-on activities.

One of this year’s JRG awardees is Léo Schneiderman, 6th grade science teacher at Hillview. Working alongside teachers Julie Hilborn and Arion Espinoza, their project “Making Cell Anatomy and Physiology Come Alive” aims to improve students’ understanding of 6th grade science standards through the use of hands-on models and puzzles. With the models and puzzles funded by the JRG, students have been able to view in three-dimensional form the body system structure and how each system functions and interacts with each other.

The models also allow students to practice the skill of seeing 3D images and compare them with 2D images in their books, drawings and on their iPads. Students have been able to work in teams to connect the parts of the models together to identify the various structures and functions. This grant has impacted all 6th grade science students at Hillview.

“This grant was a great success because it allowed students to dive deeper in the learning, enjoy the learning process, and provided greater opportunity for student hands on collaboration,” said Mr. Schneiderman.

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