Weekly Classroom Program
The Weekly Classroom program is an interactive learning laboratory, designed to engage students in hands-on activities. By promoting this sort of experimentation and guiding in-class discussions, Demos volunteers work to spark students’ interest in science and help them through the basic principles that underlie our experiments. Volunteers spend an hour a week teaching in a New Haven elementary classroom, giving them a chance to develop a working rapport with their students.
The curriculum is designed foremost to be interactive and to cover a variety of subject areas. It is not intended to be complete or comprehensive, and is instead designed to give students opportunities for exploration and experimentation that they might not have in the standard New Haven curriculum. We ensure that each of our hour-long modules meets Connecticut curriculum standards for grades 3 and 4, and we hope to be able to expand this to other grade levels in the near future.
Inside Starlab’s inflatable planetarium, Demos volunteers teach students about constellations, Greek mythology, planets, comets, star formations, and more to deepen the students’ understanding of our universe. Using a state-of-the-art night sky projector, the igloo-shaped planetarium portrays Demos-crafted slides to assist with a presentation that lasts 30-45 mins. The planetarium inflates to a height of almost 11 feet and can accommodate 25-30 students. While Starlab’s main focus is on astronomy, we are working to expand this to other scientific concepts that can be taught using projected slides, such as the water cycle or wind and water current patterns.