Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 5/29/13
HARTFORD, May 29, 2013:  Hartford Wolf Pack head coach, and Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation president, Ken Gernander, along with leading scorer Kris Newbury, today visited Winding Trails in Farmington, CT to encourage Hartford seventh-graders in The Discovery Center’s Diversity Academy Engineering Raft-building Competition. The event, which was funded in part by a grant from the Wolf Pack Community Foundation, featured nearly 100 Hartford area seventh grade students, hailing from Hartford’s Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School and the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, coming together at Winding Trails to work in teams using math and science skills to design and construct rafts, and then float the rafts in a competition. The activity was designed to bring students from different backgrounds together for hands-on learning while increasing their cultural appreciation of each other, as well as to promote team-building and collaboration. “It was great to see the kids so engaged in the whole process,” Gernander said.  “There was a lot of healthy competition to build the best raft, and all the students really took the learning part of it seriously.  It was a nice combination of getting out in the fresh air and doing some good work, and having to do some real thinking as well.  The kids seemed to have a lot of fun with it, and we were proud to be associated with the event.” The raft-building competition is one of numerous multicultural/academic experiential learning activities presented by the Discovery Center.  These activities are all designed to help close the achievement gap and build relationships between diverse student communities.  “The students seemed to appreciate putting their academic skills to practical use, building rafts and building relationships in friendly competition,” said Jason Fredlund, Coordinator for Leadership Workshops for The Discovery Center. “This is a great example of teamwork and achieving goals – lessons that these students can apply throughout their lives.” Founded by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in 1992, The Discovery Center offers award-winning programs that emphasize both systemic change and academic achievement.  The programs bring fourth through eighth-grade students from urban and suburban/rural communities together for a year-round diversity, team-building and learning experience with a focus on math, science and the language arts.  One of the Discovery Center’s three core programs is the Diversity Academy, designed for seventh and eighth-graders, in which students receive experiential learning in math, science and language arts activities, while also participating in diversity and team-building activities to increase their cultural appreciation and understanding of each other. The mission of the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation is to support charitable programs for inner-city youth, enhance the lives of Connecticut’s children, support youth amateur sports and improve the lives of those in our community. Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
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