News: Iron Knights evaluate at science fair
Story by Sgt. Sean Harriman
EL PASO, Texas – The soldiers of 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, volunteered at a local El Paso middle school, Morehead Middle, Dec. 13 when they visited the students and graded their science fair projects.
To people from older generations, the scene of this science fair would’ve been hardly recognizable: most of the projects were presented as PowerPoint slide shows.
Jamey Dillard, the science department chairperson at Morehead Middle School, said that for the soldiers to grade the students, it helps tremendously.
“The students don’t get as nervous or anxious with soldiers,” Dillard said. “We’re going to be finished in three quarters of the time that it normally takes to grade.”
In order to properly grade the presentations, the soldiers were given a grading sheet and set of guidelines that had to be met for success, very similar to the way soldiers are evaluated at military schools.
With soldiers grading projects, such as Madeline Cervantes’ "Mouth, a bacteria’s home" and Annika Morden’s "Which plant grows the best?," their middle school science skills were put to the test.
The 1st Battalion, 35 Armored Regiment, senior noncommissioned officer, Sgt. Maj. Nathan Shaw, only had praise for the evening’s effort.
“It was a great event for the soldiers as well as for the school,” Shaw said. “This volunteering allowed the teachers to keep teaching while we graded and interacted with the kids.”
Shaw also said that, as Partner’s In Education with Morehead Middle School, the opportunities for volunteering are ongoing.
“Volunteering is a two way street. It allows the students to see the soldiers as a kind of role model, and it also gives the soldiers an opportunity to interact with the community and the children outside of work,” Shaw said.