State’s education commissioner sees how reopening is going, meets CES STEM stars
As far as visits go from higher-ups, it was pretty … Cool.
Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn visited Clinton Elementary School last Wednesday, part of a three-school district tour to see in person how the state’s schools reopening plans are going.
The City of Clinton School System, as of the day of Scwinn’s visit, had no cases of COVID-19.
Schwinn was able to observe several classes in action, witness hall behavior, and take time to talk to two Clinton Elementary School students about a recent accomplishment.
Aaden Yarbrough and Maddisyn Reynolds of Kimberly O’Dell’s sixth-grade class had the Oak Ridge Associated University Stem Competition the week before Schwinn’s visit and took a few minutes to explain how it worked.
The question was: “Which is more effective in killing germs: Normal soap, antibacterial soap, or antibacterial gel?”
It was a perfect experiment for our times.
Yarbrough and Reynolds worked to collect samples, gather data, and make a visual presentation of their results. The two students submitted their experiment into the ORAU STEM Competition and were awarded in the 6th-8th grade category.
Interestingly, the two students came up with varying end results. When asked why this might be, they responded, “We learned about a concept called errors. We may have had different levels of bacteria on our hands, or we had varying amounts of time that the lid was off the petri dish.”
Schwinn was duly impressed with their work, but she praised the CES staff overall after her visit.
“There is good learning happening in those classrooms,” she said.
And as part of a three-school visit that day, the education commissioner took her time visiting with the CES students.
“That’s the way she is,” one of Schwinn’s aides said. “If it’s a fun environment it’s hard to get her out of the classroom.
Schwinn also visited Campbell and Union County school districts.