Additionally, the Community Science Night serves as the culminating celebration for the Penn State Maymester, a 3-credit course that brings College of Education students from across the commonwealth to Hazleton for a two-week intensive teaching experience. During the Maymester course, the Penn State pre-service teachers spend their days teaching and learning alongside mentor teachers in the Hazleton Area School District. The mentor teachers from Arthur Street Elementary and the Hazleton Elementary/Middle School guide the Penn State students who are learning about teaching English Learners in an urban school setting.
After school, the Penn State students were asked to design and implement a STEM enrichment project in an effort to apply their course learning to planning and implementing instruction for diverse learners, many of whom are still in the process of learning English.
Riley Young, a junior at Penn State University Park who is studying to become a K-12 Spanish teacher as well as an ESL Specialist, says “the past two weeks in the Afterschool Scholars program have been an exciting experience that has taught me so much and community science night is the grand finale in which both Penn State teachers and the elementary students get to celebrate their accomplishments.”
Kelly Weaver, a sophomore at Penn State University Park who is studying to become a high school English teacher as well as an ESL Specialist added “this program has allowed me to gain real classroom experience with great mentor teachers in the HASD. This experience will continue to guide me through my future career in education. The afterschool scholars program allowed me to see the students in a community-based setting as opposed to a school classroom and that has expanded my understanding of what it means to be a teacher.”