What Is the DISCOVERosity Zone?
The Kyrene de la Colina DISCOVERosity Zone is a dedicated room accessible to students during their lunch recess, in which they can freely investigate a variety of science and engineering concepts. Non-directed exploration (i.e. ‘play’) is as crucial as direct instruction to a well-rounded science education. The intent of this room is to complement classroom instruction by providing an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a science and engineering-rich environment, with the ultimate goal being to stimulate a sustained interest in these disciplines.
How Does the DISCOVERosity Zone Operate?
Each class is assigned 1 day per week when they may send between 6-8 students to the discovery room during their 20 minute lunch recess. Between 2-5 parent, grandparent and community volunteers are present during the students' visit to assist, mediate, explain and engage the children in self-directed exploration or organized small-group activities.
How is the DISCOVERosity Zone Funded?
The Kyrene de la Colina DISCOVERosity Zone is funded primarily through tax credit dollars. This money is allocated through the Kyrene del la Colina Site Council, with expenditures overseen by Colina administrative staff.
Colina's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) also provides some financial assistance to the DISCOVERosity Zone. We also receive a great many material donations – new, used and recycled.
Features of the DISCOVERosity Zone
- Our “invention bin” – a constantly-replenished assortment of recyclable items that are incorporated into unique building projects that kids can take home
- A library of science and engineering reading materials, a variety of child-directed magazines,
- Science-themed coloring sheets
- Magnifying glasses, weighing scales, microscopes
- A zoom-scope and miscellaneous materials to view close up on a television screen
- A light table and assorted x-rays (dental, human and animal)
- Stations holding natural specimens including animal skulls and bones, shells, rocks, insects
- Plastic 3-D anatomical models
- An aquarium, a terrarium
- Molecule kits
- A variety of science & engineering exploration kits, and materials for mini-experiments and demonstrations
- Engineering-directed toys including Legos, Magnetix, Snap Circuits, K’Nex, Erector sets
- Models of simple machines
- Kits teaching about electricity, light, sound, magnetics, etc.
- A Smart Board and several computers set up with interactive activities
- A collection of broken or obsolete mechanical, electric and electronic items for take-apart explorations
- And more!
Where is the DISCOVERosity Zone?
The DISCOVERosity Zone is held in room 29 and connected to the STEM lab this year!
Recently DISCOVERoom was a feature story in the Notre Dame Alumni online publication "We Are ND": Inspiring Students to Explore STEM.
We were also featured on FOX 10 News by Cory McCloskey. He shared our DISCOVERoom/STEM room with viewers.