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Vacation academy helps Jeannette students hone math, science skills

| Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 11:33 p.m.

Nearly 20 students in third and sixth grades at Jeannette McKee Elementary and Middle schools attended a summer academy to learn more about math and science.

The academy was presented by the Math and Science Collaborative, an initiative that supports school districts in 11 counties and is housed at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

Jeannette Middle School teacher Renee Reich, a Math and Science Collaborative teacher, led the sixth-grade class along with Sarah Hart, a collaborative teacher from Woodland Hills School District.

Linda Brecht and Anne Carroll, collaborative teachers from Franklin Regional and Greater Latrobe school districts, led the third-grade class.

At Jeannette, third and sixth-graders were given the chance to participate in the academy, which is in its second year in the city. Children attended classes for three hours each morning for two weeks to learn math and science concepts.

"They are learning inquiry-based science and hands-on math," said Reich. "They get the opportunity to work with fractions, and they are investigating to see how it works. They're thinking it through and problem solving."

The elementary students learned about rocks and minerals in the science portion, and the middle school students studied Earth materials and the weathering processes they go through. All students worked with fractions, as well.

"For the students, it's an extension to what they already know about the Earth and fractions," said Reich. "It's a chance to practice further cooperative-learning skills. It's a really good cooperative learning environment for them to be part of without all of the pressures of being in school."

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