Students exploring wonders of science in Canyon

CANYON, Texas (KFDA) – A special partnership between Canyon Independent School District and West Texas A&M University is bringing fun, hands on learning to some after school students.

The same learning module that is being introduced locally, however, may soon be taken overseas.

“We call it Canyon ISD kids, it’s expanded learning opportunities, its the after school program we offer it in 13 schools in the Canyon School District,” said Canyon ISD Kids Program Manager Debbie Collier.

The after school program is not just a longer school day.

“We don’t really want it to be an extended school day but we want them to continue to learn and we want it to be fun and interactive and that’s what Dr. H brings and we have just loved the partnership with his department at WT. It’s been fabulous,” Collier said.

“Dr. H” is Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, an associate professor of environmental science at WTAMU.

“So we are the Climate Science Society from West Texas A&M University. We try to teach local students about global climate change,” Hiranuma said.

Hiranuma and his team teach some fundamentals of the atmosphere that prepare young students for more detailed climate study in the future.

“So we are going to be doing like mixing, dry ice and the liquid water, and causing evaporation. This tells local students how to make a cloud,” Hiranuma said.

The young students seem to readily engage in the hands on learning opportunity.

“There is no particular structure to the learning its, they get to kind of figure things out themselves, they get to ask their own questions. Oh my gosh I never even thought about that,” Collier said.

Hiranuma hopes to inspire elementary aged students to pursue science and start the path toward higher learning.

“They’re about the right age to learn about global climate change and hopefully that’s going to be good to help them consider coming to the science department in the future,” Hiranuma said.

Hiranuma has big plans to expand this education module to other schools and even other countries.

“Now it’s time to take outside and we are actually planning to go to Japan next year, next summer of 2023,” Hiranuma said.

Now how about some cool weather stuff? They’re learning about it today in Canyon, but soon it’ll be taught worldwide.

Now, that’s some good news.

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