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Over the last three years, Kent State University’s Geauga Campus has had the privilege to serve as a facilitator and host for area middle school students involved in the Arthur Holden Leadership Institute (AHLI).
The institute provides a unique opportunity for students to experience leadership enrichment classes in science and mathematics. Students begin with a recommendation by their teachers in their respective middle schools and apply for a three-year commitment. The program consists of meetings and after-school learning sessions that prepare them for field trip activities at various locations. The focus is to discover new ways to think about water, soil and energy.
Kent State Geauga professors play an important role in the hands-on soil experience for the seventh-graders. Students from Chardon attended the campus session in November followed by Heritage and Madison on different days in February.
Dr. Sue Clement and Dr. Jodi Naji, Geauga Campus Associate Professors, along with John Majernik, a lecturer from the Salem campus, led interactive activities focused around earth science and horticulture. They discussed the definition of soil and what sediments help classify the type of soils.
"I helped the students’ measure amounts of macronutrients in a community garden soil sample. The tests use color indicator tablets to estimate the amount of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in water samples that had soil added." Professor Clement explained. "This testing allows students to make connections between nutrients and plant requirements and if the soil needs to be amended."
Whether the students are in their classroom or on field trips, the Institute’s emphasis is on active participation and working with diverse people such as fellow students on a team or an expert in a particular field. It also emphasize communication and leadership, while improving math and science skills, thereby increasing the likelihood of future academic success and effective problem solving abilities.
Kent State Geauga faculty share these values and are committed to stimulating curiosity in the educational process.