Lothrop Science, Spanish and Technology Magnet Center has a dynamic science program which includes a science room with a large lab area, a greenhouse and an outdoor classroom. In the science room, there is a large diversity of organisms used in our educational programs including mice, hamsters, lizards (bearded dragon and leopard geckos), turtles (terrestrial and aquatic), a guinea pig, a chinchilla, a ferret, snails, slugs, spiders, snakes, isopods, crickets, ants, earth worms, red worms, meal worms, a full sized pond stocked with tadpoles and more. Students learn about characteristics of various classes of animals, life cycles, care and feeding. After learning to care for the animal and with parent/guardian permission, students can take an animal home over a weekend or a break; an experience which may help them determine that a given animal would make a good pet for them (taking into consideration both time and expense). Additionally, students use real science equipment such as beakers, balances and microscopes for a curricullum that is completely hands-on. All students complete science fair projects each year and thier projects show greater independence and sophistication as students advance in grade level.
All students participated in planting the outdoor classroom and all students are involved in care and upkeep of the area. Many classes are held outside in the area allowing children to learn from the natural world. One area has many native plants known for their ability to attract butterflies. Feeders and a waterfall attract birds to the area for bird watching and identification. Multiple tulip bulbs were planted in another area; after the tulips finish blooming, a strawberry field fills in. Picnic tables allow children to enjoy a picnic lunch, reading time and participate in class activities in comfort. A garden is planted with corn at the end of every year so that students can learn about this important Nebraska crop. Since we use no pesticides, we invariably have many specimens to learn about allowing students to see the impact of plant pests on crops. Mature seed corn is harvested as food for our pets.
Lothrop Spanish, Science and Technology Magnet is the only school in the area with a full sized greenhouse. Students use the greenhouse for inquiry experiments that go on throughout the year. Students also learn how to care for various types of plants including seeding, weeding, watering, fertilization, transplanting and propagation. Students grow food in the greenhouse as well (for the animals as well as our humans); currently, we are growing ingredients that Spanish students will use to make salsa.
While every teacher in the building teaches science lessons weekly, students go to the science lab for additional lessons that support our extra-value standards. Enrichment camps are offered regularly allowing students to participate in learning activities outside of the school day. We have many clubs such as the Young Surgeons which teachers students about the large number of health careers available while providing the background necessary to excel in the area of health care. A Greenhouse Group includes students who enjoy growing and caring for plants. In the summer, we offer a health camp where students learn about both health and hygiene. In another summer camp, children build and shoot off rockets!
A wide variety of speakers are invited to Lothrop Magnet Center each year from various government organizations such as the EPA, higher education institutions such as the Med Center and Creighton.
We have several enrichment groups for students. Some students who are interested in plants are in a plant group where they learn to transplant and care for plants. Our Young Surgeons will get a strong foundation in medicine. Students who really want to rock will start thier own rock and mineral collections while learning about rocks. After school programs are also available through a grant free of charge to students such as anatomy camp and enrichment camp.
We have many volunteer opportunities for parents, please contact Ms. Galus if you are interested in any activities below:
assistance in the outdoor classroom
assistance in the greenhouse
speak to students on your career choice (medical professions, chemistry careers...)
assist with the fetal pig dissection in January
accompany us on field trips
assist with recycling
We want to use the rich array of talents in our unique and diverse parent community
Here are some good websites for children:
General Science: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu
Space Science: www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/home/
For help with science fair projects:
For help with science fair projects: