School resource kits promotes community learning

The Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) is proud to support a lifetime of learning in our community. One of the many unique ways that the CCISD supports learning is through resource kits. Several departments within the ISD participate in a program that offers dozens of different kits to local schools to use free of charge. This helps our schools by providing resources that might otherwise be too expensive for a district to purchase alone and may not be utilized enough to justify the expense. Offering these items through the CCISD allows them to be utilized in a cost-effective way. The resource kits are free for our local schools to check out, but often require teachers to first attend a free training workshop that focuses on handling and successfully implementing the resources.

The Regional Educational Media Center #1 (REMC1) serves schools in both the Copper Country and Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School Districts. They offer three large resource kits that can be utilized by our member schools. The StarLab is popular kit that offers a portable, indoor planetarium experience for students to learn about various astronomy, biology, meteorology, history and physical geography topics. REMC1 has two StarLab kits available for check out. In addition, REMC1 has two classroom Maker kits that contain over twenty items to help teach coding, robotics, engineering, and creativity skills. The newest kit offered through REMC1 is the Virtual Reality kit. REMC1 offers two of these kits that each provide thirty student devices and virtual reality goggles and one teacher device to facilitate virtual learning experiences that include “virtual” field trip experiences through Google Expeditions and other various VR applications. These virtual field trips range from exploring the body’s respiratory system in 3D to climbing Mount Everest.

The Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education also serves both the the CCISD and GOISD and offers twenty-six resource kits. The kits include various items to teach topics ranging from Native American Culture to wildlife, forest, and water resources. One of the more popular kits is the Owl Activity Kit, which contains a display of the great-horned and eastern screech owls, along with lesson plans and activities for dissecting owl pellets. The Great Lakes Activity kit is also a popular item that includes a 9′ x 12′ canvas floor map of the Great Lakes basin.

Lastly, the General Education Department of the CCISD also offers kits for check out. Some of the most popular kits are part of the Engineering is Elementary series; these kits contains dozens of engineering design project ideas ranging from water filters to knee braces.

Regardless of grade level or topics, the CCISD supports our schools by providing the most relevant teaching resources. These resource kits provide a great way to engage students in the lessons being taught, enhance the learning taking place, and extend the learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Offering these kits is just one of the ways we are helping to support a lifetime of learning in our community.

George Stockero Jr. is the superintendent of the Copper County Intermediate School District.