HAMPTON, N.H. — Unitil extended its hands-on science program that helps students prepare for MCAS testing to area sixth graders who missed participating this past spring due to the pandemic, according to an announcement from the utility company.
“Because of the positive feedback over the past 18 years that we have done the program, we felt it was important to hold classes this fall for those who missed it during the spring,” said Unitil’s Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara. “We are planning on being back to our regular schedule and conducting classes for the fifth grade students next spring, so they can sharpen their skills for the science portion of MCAS.”
Unitil consultant Neil Clark designs and teaches the curriculum to adhere to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) science, technology and engineering standards.
“The students really thrive when it is an interactive hands-on experience,” Clark said. “They enjoy the collaborative nature of it while creating open and closed circuits with batteries, wires and flashlight bulbs. Students also learn how an electromagnet works, using a simple bolt, wire and small battery.”
In addition to reviewing the science of electricity with the students, Clark discusses electric safety, including who to call when they see downed wires and how to protect younger children from the potential hazard.
The initiative started as a pilot program in 2003 and has since reached over 10,000 students. This fall, Clark will teach nearly 25 classes in Lunenburg’s middle school, Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, and Fitchburg’s Memorial Middle School, McKay Arts Academy School and Arthur M. Longsjo Jr. Middle School.
Massachusetts requires that students be tested and meet certain minimum requirements because of the Education Reform Law of 1993.
Unitil provides electric service to Ashby, Fitchburg, Lunenburg and Townsend, and natural gas service to those communities, as well as Gardner and Westminster.
For more information, visit www.unitil.com