Throughout the year, each of the teachers hosting Letters to a Pre-Scientist is asked to write a blog post about their science classroom. In this post, Ms. Pinto shares the excitement about her South Carolina classroom’s very first letter opening day!
“When do we get to open our letters?”
“Has my letter arrived yet?”
“What if everyone’s letter gets here early?”
Our first letter opening day was one of the most exciting days we’ve had so far this year. For weeks leading up to letter opening day we held a countdown, and daily students pestered me about whether their letter had arrived yet. My students are intelligent, creative, and curious, but many of them haven’t traveled outside of South Carolina. Connecting with a pen pal across the country, or even the world is an exciting opportunity for them that made them want to map the distance to their scientists town and discuss their college degree. They’ve learned about letters and the purpose of a stamp. No, it’s not there for decoration. They are getting exposure to important topics that they may not have otherwise learned about and are eager to learn more.
When the time came to open letters the room was full of energy. They were so appreciative of their letters, the pictures, stickers, and everything they had in common with their scientist. Landon yelled, “They love all the same stuff I do!” Denaji squealed, “Oh my gosh, she loves Cardi B too!” Suddenly scientists became normal people to them. Junior was obsessed with his heat activated eclipse stamp. Nakerianna said that she wants to do exactly what her scientist does when she grows up. Landon has a new favorite pen, Makayla loved the pictures of archeological sites, and Roger enjoyed seeing his pen pal’s cat. The letters exceeded mine and the students expectations, and were filled with drawings, pictures, explanations, and colors that grabbed their attention and showed that time and care were taken in writing them. They were excited to share with each other, but even more excited to sit and read their letters while grinning from ear to ear.
It’s not every day that people take such an active and involved role in their lives. The care and interest taken by their pen-pals was meaningful to my students. The joy and excitement that filled the room was contagious and I wish the pictures could do it justice. I am appreciative of this program and all of the scientists that are inspiring students to become more passionate about learning, and helping them see themselves as future scientists. I’m already looking forward to our next letter opening day!