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Bulldogs in the lab

posted Aug 24, 2016, 2:31 PM by Cheryl Shuffler   [ updated Sep 2, 2016, 1:22 PM ]

Freedom High School senior Andrew McRacken spent the summer teaching the Oak Hill Elementary School daycare participant’s science-based lessons. His “Bulldogs in the Lab” lessons covered topics from static electricity, acids and bases, to Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students built volcanoes, model cars and baking soda rockets as part of the lessons. Oak Hill Principal Rob Gregory said, “This partnership between Oak Hill and Andrew is important and valuable because it shows off his love of science and hopefully inspires a new generation of Bulldogs to excel in the classroom the way that Drew has. When you can showcase a former student and the skills and expertise that the student has gained through the school system, then use that skill set to educate others and hopefully inspire them to follow in his steps, I think that is the goal of any educator, the continuation of education. When Andrew first approached me this spring with his idea for the summer camp education, I was immediately impressed with his vision and confidence. He felt a calling to teach kids in a field that he is passionate about.”

McRacken said, “I have always had a love for science, and Burke County has wonderful resources, such as the STEAM Academy. With this area being considered as a location for a branch of the North Carolina School of Science and Math, I realized how important it is for kids to be exposed to this kind of thing early. After all, if you want to water a flower, you go to the roots. With the help of the amazing administration at Oak Hill, I was able to take one of my passions and give back to the place and the people where I started. Throughout this project, I was aided by my ‘lab assistants’ Garrett Halford, Tidus Avery and Henry Williams. In the future, I would like to look into the possibility of expanding this concept to an afterschool setting, as well as involving the Chemistry Club at Freedom High School. I believe that it could take the form of a club and be very beneficial to not only the student, but also the rising community of tomorrow’s leaders.”

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said of McRacken, “I have known him since he was in kindergarten and can see him making a great teacher. It’s in his blood with his mom being in the school system as a counselor. He is a bright kid and was a great asset at Oak Hill this summer.”