An upcoming research adventure will take educator Beth Heidemann and scientist Curtis Bentley to HIP Academy, which is located in Bungoma County in rural Kenya. Ms. Heidemann and Mr. Bentley are co-creators of Go2Science, an online resource for Pre-K-to-second grade classrooms. They are going to Kenya to help HIP Academy Director Livingstone Kegode solve a problem that he says is interfering with the education of his students – the lack of clean, accessible drinking water. At the moment, students must fetch drinking water from a distant river; this causes illness and cuts into academic time, says Mr. Kegode.

Ms. Heidemann and Mr. Bentley plan to tap into the ample supply of drinkable groundwater they say is flowing right underneath the school by drilling a well and installing an electric pump. The result will be a safe and reliable water source for the students, staff, and the entire community. This project will benefit students well beyond Kenya because Ms. Heidemann and Mr. Curtis plan to document the well-drilling process and explore science connections with their 4-8 year-old Go2Science students. From this project, participants will learn how to use science and technology to work for the greater good.

Some students at the East End Community School, a public school in Portland, are helping support the well digging project. The classes of Cathy Jurgelevich and Kristen Tedesco have launched a “Change for Change” campaign. Both teachers have many students who are from Kenya and other African nations, so the project is of particular interest to the children.

Beth Heidemann is a Presidential Award-winning early childhood educator with 25 years of classroom experience and a background in innovative methods. Curtis Bentley is a scientist, lawyer, and explorer, with his paleontological finds in museums across the country. An extinct sea turtle is even named after him! Through Go2Science, Ms. Heidemann and Mr. Bentley connect with children living all around the world to fuel a passion for learning through the lens of science. Their research adventures strive to build the compassionate, evidence-based decision makers and leaders we need in the future.

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