CPN Family Science Nights

Many thanks to our Mary Ford Elementary parent leaders and more than 30 families who participated in CPN’s Family Science Nights this fall! For five consecutive weeks, starting on Thursday October 22, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:30pm, families gathered at Mary Ford Elementary School for Family Science Nights (FSN), a program designed to bring students and their parents together for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) hands-on learning. The Boeing Company, Charleston Promise Neighborhood and Iridescent, a science education nonprofit, partnered to spark creativity, curiosity and highlight the persistence of families in our Neighborhood. With the training of Iridescent, Boeing engineers presented new design challenges each week for families to explore.

The families were challenged to create Boeing inspired designs, such as airplane launchers and an automatic painter, which is a machine that paints the airplane. The focus of the design challenges was not based on time or competition; the focus was the learning process and problem solving. When families tested the effectiveness of their airplane launchers and the results weren’t what they expected, they went back to the drawing board with questions and ultimately solutions. They wanted to understand how things work and this sparked their curiosity. Through scaffolding and support, the Boeing engineers were able to assist families in their designing process. Families were able to assess the strengths and weakness of their original design and think creatively about solving the problem. Family Science Nights offered students transferable skills that will be necessary in achieving academic success and developing life-long skills. Parents also learned new, fun and resourceful ways to engage as a family unit.

Overall, Family Science Night was a successful series of events with an outstanding attendance of over 30 families and 100+ members of Mary Ford Elementary School and community each night! Several families from two other CPN schools — James Simons and Sanders-Clyde — also participated in the events. In attendance were current and retired Mary Ford educators, retired veterans, community leaders, grandparents, aunts, uncles and older siblings. Based on the families’ continued support, it is evident they believe in CPN’s mission to transform a generation and serve as agents of change at home, at school, and in the Neighborhood.

If you would like more information on Family Science Nights, please contact Radia Heyward, CPN’s Community Engagement Program Manager, (843) 647-6206.