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South Effingham Middle hosts its first math, science family night
Origami geometry
SEMS students and their parents create origami and learn about its connection to geometry. - photo by Photo submitted

On March 4, South Effingham Middle School hosted its first Math and Science Family Fun night.

Despite stormy weather, the turnout for the event was overwhelming.  There were over 300 people in attendance, with just more than 160 of those being students.  

The purpose of the Math and Science Family night was two-fold, one was to share with parents the type of learning that takes place with the new Georgia Performance Standards, and the other, to create greater involvement between the students, parents and school.

After signing in, parents and students were given a listing of stations that they could rotate through every 30 minutes, consisting of various math and science activities from sixth through eighth grade.

Teachers demonstrated online resources, such as CRCT online, that parents and students could use to reinforce and review the material that they learn in school.  Parents even got the chance to test their knowledge against the students to see if they were “Smarter Than A Middle Schooler.”     

Math opportunities were provided to learn about algebraic expressions, percent matching, and geometric construction.  They also got to create and learn about origami, which is the Chinese art of paper folding, and its connection to geometry.  

In science, they had opportunities to learn the moon phases using Oreo cookies, experience a living food web, examine pond water for microbes or determine how density plays an integral part of Earth’s processes. They also could have observed the processes of chemical and physical changes by making “Sunset in a Bag” or by investigating unknown substances and observing how they react to determine their identity.

The school’s book fair was opened for visitors and an inexpensive meal was served in the cafeteria. Businesses from Effingham and surrounding counties supported the night by donating items to be given away in drawings.   

Parents said as they left that they enjoyed experiencing what their children learned daily and they wished they had more time to visit all of the stations and not feel rushed. They asked future such events to be held on Saturdays.  

Dr. Mark Winters, SEMS principal, said he received many positive comments from parents and students and he could feel the excitement in the air generated by this experience.