Science Night is an evening of hands-on science activities for students and their families to do together. Science Night is an opportunity for parents to visit their children's schools to celebrate student learning. Since the coronavirus pandemic has prevented this type of school gathering this year, some elementary schools in Coachella Valley Unified organized virtual Science Night events using the Zoom platform to keep families engaged. Being a community partner that promotes student health and wellness, the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Cooperative Extension (CFHL, UCCE) was invited to participate. Our CFHL, UCCE Educators: Jackie Barahona, Daisy Valdez, Itzel Palacios-Sanchez and Esmeralda Nunez presented ‘Plant Anatomy' which is adapted from the Eat Your Plants lesson from the TWIGS nutrition and gardening curriculum. Students and families had fun on Zoom learning about edible plant parts and the benefits of eating vegetables and fruits. When asked what they took away from this session, one student commented in the chat "I learned that some vegetables are considered fruits" and another said "I learned more about plants and that we can eat them." The event was held on December 3, 2020, jointly for the Cesar Chavez and Valle Del Sol Elementary Schools, and on December 9, 2020 for Saul Martinez Elementary.
Our CFHL, UCCE team is thankful for the opportunity to be a partner in the virtual Science Night events and is pleased with the positive feedback from the Principal at Saul Martinez:
“I want to take a moment to thank the entire team that made our very first Saul Martinez Virtual Family Science Fair a huge success! Our Saul Martinez students and parents were engaged in critical thinking on the scientific process and I have received much positive feedback from our families! At the end of the event, one student sent me a private message in the zoom chat, “This is fun, when are we doing science night again?” That question right there equals success!! I hope we can do this again in the near future!”