Applied Science for Kids (ASK!)

Nature Center Launches Education Initiative with Cleveland Metropolitan School District

With the arrival of 35 kindergarteners and their teachers from Adlai Stevenson Elementary School, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes launched the new Applied Science for Kids (ASK!) program. Through ASK!, all preschool, kindergarten and first grade students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will connect to nature while improving their academic performance.

This initiative, led by the Nature Center’s environmental educators, is part of CMSD’s new Place-Based Learning Collaborative. Throughout the course of the school year, the ASK! program will reach over 7,600 students from approximately 300 classrooms in over 60 schools. The children will receive hands-on field experiences and classroom activities to supplement the on-site learning. To ensure academic rigor, the program conforms with all Ohio Academic Content Standards. CMSD considers the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes a key partner in their five year science strategic plan for preschool through grade 12.

“The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is providing a key component of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s effort to ensure that all of our students have hands-on experiences in science and nature education,” said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon. “The Applied Science for Kids (ASK!) program serving all of our preschool, kindergarten and first grade students provides the foundational pieces of the vision of the District’s Place-based Learning Collaborative.”

Nature Center environmental educators created preschool classroom activity kits and provided professional development for all preschool through first grade teachers. “We want to ensure that every child gets the most out of these experiences,” said Nature Center at Shaker Lakes Executive Director Kay Carlson. “As their connection to nature grows, so will their understanding of science. This is a landmark educational program that has far reaching benefits for Cleveland,” she continued.

The ASK! program is supported by many donors including The Cleveland Foundation, PNC Foundation, Abington Foundation, Thomas H. White Foundation and Dominion Foundation.

For more information or to make a donation to support the ASK! Program, please contact Robert Sikora at sikora@shakerlakes.org or 216-321-5935, ext. 223.