Form and Perform. Revise and Resize. Reach and Teach.
Form and Perform
REACT Board Members form chemistry-related activities for events in the community and station-based lesson plans for Third Grade through High School classrooms within a 15-mile radius of the University of Illinois. With an emphasis on hands-on activities, events and lesson plans are designed to inspire all audiences to explore chemical phenomena in their careers, education, and most importantly, everyday lives! Events and lesson plans are constructed with numerous factors and constraints in mind: location, time and duration of event, age(s) and size of audience, community members’ and/or teachers’ desires, cost, public and environmental safety, and more. Visual aids and/or worksheets are incorporated in all events and lesson plans to provide a picture of what’s happening on the molecular scale! Once REACT Board Members have brainstormed and outlined the experiments and demonstrations – while keeping all the above and more in mind – they test and perform the activities.
Revise and Resize
After practicing all the activities, REACT Board Members revise their event or lesson plan to improve the quality of experiments and visual aids while aiming to provide a safe, fun, and meaningful interaction between the audience and REACT volunteers! Further, REACT. Board Members resize concentrations, volumes, masses, and/or quantities to reduce waste, better meet constraints, and simplify procedures.
Reach and Teach
Once the activities are finalized, REACT Board Members reach out to teachers and community members to seek interest in scheduling a classroom visit or event! REACT Board Members also send pre- and post-event Google forms to assigned volunteers – for the purpose of introducing each activity and/or station and providing feedback, respectively. Volunteers are trained to teach and perform one station by REACT Board Members. Through Calendly, teachers can schedule either a virtual or in-person visit. If an in-person visit is scheduled, a REACT Board Member and a group of 4-5 volunteers will drive to the school and bring all the supplies the classroom will need! If a virtual visit is scheduled, a link will be emailed to the teacher, a REACT Board Member will drop-off the supplies at the school’s office at least 30 minutes before the visit, and a group of 3-4 volunteers will teach the classroom (with a REACT Board Member present).