East Hill Notes: With ‘office hours’, Cornell connects with local schools

By Gary Stewart
On a regular basis, Cornell’s Office of Community Relations (OCR) holds “office hours” at Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave. in Ithaca. These sessions are designed for anyone to come by and ask questions of general interest about Cornell and its programs, or on a specific topic.
OCR’s next office hours are Tuesday, April 26, from noon to 1 p.m. At that session, campus liaisons who work with local schools will be in attendance, with information on Cornell’s K-12 programs.
Cornell’s dozens of initiatives on the K-12 front are diverse, and continually evolving. Her is a representative snapshot:
Science education modules are designed to stimulate hands-on, inquiry-based learning of fundamental biological concepts. Check out https://tetrahymenaasset.vet.cornell.edu/modules/science-modules/.
The Cornell Naturalist Outreach Program sends Cornell students to classrooms and community groups to talk about animals and plants. A typical topic is “Social Insects & Why They’re Amazing.” Go to http://blogs.cornell.edu/naturalistoutreach/ for more information.
The Graduate Student School Outreach Program pairs Cornell graduate students with teachers in Tompkins County to teach mini-courses on the student’s field or interests. Go to https://sites.google.com/site/grasshopratcornell/ for more information.
Encouraging Young Engineers and Scientists enriches students’ learning with fun, educational science activities. Check out https://sites.google.com/site/cornelleyes/lessons, or for more information, https://sites.google.com/site/cornelleyes/.
Staff from the Cornell Center for Materials Research Educational Program visits classrooms to present hands-on modules and/or give science talks. Lesson plans at www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/educational-resources/lending-library-of-experiments/.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has online curriculum to support K-12 physics of animal behavior. Representative lessons at www.birds.cornell.edu/physics/lessons/elementary.
The Cornell Public Service Center’s PreK-12 outreach programs enhance the intellectual and social well-being of area youth. For more information go to https://psc.cornell.edu/students/student-programs/prek-12-outreach-programs.
OCR’s office hours are only one way to connect with our team. In addition to general interest questions, we often field requests for an office representative or other campus staff/faculty to present at community organizations, and are glad to make connections. Office staff is available weekdays at 110 Day Hall, available by phone at 255-4347, or e-mail community_relations@cornell.edu. OCR also serves on dozens of on-and-off-campus boards and committees.
In short, we are here to serve, and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll get it for you.
Gary Stewart is Director of Community Relations. at Cornell University. For topics you’d like to see addressed in future columns, e-mail gjs28@cornell.edu. Follow Cornell Community Relations @CornellTownGown.