Students from the Jackson Mann K-8 School and Gardner Pilot Academy participate in Project TEACH

January 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

In November, Harvard welcomed more than 120 middle school students from the Jackson Mann K-8 School and the Gardner Pilot Academy, both in Allston, as part of Project TEACH.

With the goal of raising educational aspirations of students in Cambridge and Boston Schools, Project TEACH provides the unique opportunity for sixth and seventh grade students to begin to consider the many possibilities of higher education by experiencing student life for a day on Harvard’s campus.

Upon arrival to campus, groups of students, teachers and chaperones were greeted by staff members of the public school programming and professional development team, part of Harvard Public Affairs and Communications, as well as members from the Crimson Key Society. The eager sixth graders filed off the school bus and into Annenberg Hall, where they had the opportunity to ask questions and eat lunch with Harvard undergraduate students.

After lunch, the group visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History where they heard from a graduate student about her current research and how she first became interested in science. The students then explored parts of the museum and discovered how animal life has evolved over the years.

While sitting in a college classroom very different from the classrooms and seats at their own schools, the children were extremely engaged, asking dozens of questions, and shocked to find out that college students get to pick their own classes and decorate their dorms. Throughout the discussions, Spanish translation was provided by Harvard Public Affairs and Communications staff to students who are English language learners. As the students boarded the bus back to their school, each of them received four tickets to return to the museum with their families.