The Outside Comes Indoors For Hancock Middle School Science Class

When sixth grade students return to Hancock Middle School this week they might think science class is being held outdoors. A grant from the GE Community Foundation helped one South Mississippi science teacher bring the outside inside.

Rachel Davis is used to paperwork in her office at the GE Plastic's Port Bienville plant. Working in a classroom is a little different than the Human Resources Department.

"Different kinds of leaves are great to make it look more like a tree anyway," Davis said.

Eight GE volunteers are transforming once bare walls into a colorful rain forest .

"The kids are going to love this," Davis remarked.

When it's finished, this natural classroom will have plants, animals and insects. There will be plenty of educational opportunities with a water dragon, a parrot, and even some ants.

"It makes it seem more like home we're creating a natural habitat just creating some tunnels for them," one GE volunteer said.

Creating an ant farm, will let the students get to know what ants can do, without getting dirty.

"This is called a root view," the coordinating Volunteer Ashley Neighbors said.

Ants aren't the only underground view the students will have. The "root view" a vegetable garden will offer a unique perspective on farming.

"What we've done is put some soil in here and planted onions, carrots and radishes and so it will allow the children to see the processes as the plants grow," Neighbors said.

Teacher Angelica Dawsey appreciates the help getting her science classroom ready, and is happy these GE volunteers will be back.

"GE is also going to be coming in the environmentalist are going to discuss with my students about pollution."

"One day hopefully they'll be able to come work with us. We want to make sure they're getting the best education they can get," Volunteer Rob Damare, echoed her words.

The volunteers say this is an investment in the future, where everyone wins. Hancock Middle School shared an $8,000 grant from GE with two other schools in the district, Gulfview and Charles B. Murphy Elementary Schools.

By: Al Showers