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Springfield Elks Help Middle School Students Enjoy Museum Experience

Submitted by Mike Gunn of the Springfield Elks As a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science and math teacher at Riverside Middle School, Tifin Calcagni is dedicated to providing engaging learning opportunities for her students.

Recently, she was approached by the Boston Museum of Science outreach staff, and learned that they have a special $2 per student rate for schools with high populations of students from low-income families for the month of January.

Calagni has learned through some get-to-know-you games at the beginning of the year, that two students had never been farther from Springfield than the Holyoke Mall, and another had never been out of Vermont and New Hampshire. Fewer than half of her 65 students have never been to Boston.

It can be difficult to teach students about cities and population density when Springfield is their idea of a big town. Likewise, it is difficult to teach students about the scope of science and scientific discovery from the four walls of a middle school classroom.

She plans to bring her 65 students to Boston to visit the science museum in order to broaden their worldview. She would like them to wonder at the size of the city, and at the phenomenal world as seen through a scientific lens.

While the visit to the museum is inexpensive, transportation is pricy. The cost for transportation is $1500 for buses to transport these students to and from the Boston Science Museum.

With the generous help of an anonymous Springfield business which donated $250 toward the cost of transportation, and after charging up to $10 per student it left $500 dollars to raise for the trip.

This is where the Springfield Elks Lodge #1560, stepped to the plate and donated the final $500, so that these fine students could make the trip to Boston.

The trip was on for Jan. 15 for the 65 Riverside Middle School students traveling to the Boston Museum of Science.

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