Students lead science lessons, story times and yoga practice from home
This summer, USC students recorded videos for children to continue learning virtually. The series featured read-aloud stories, science experiments to do at home and short yoga practices. (Composite: Dennis Lan. Images: Angelina Crittenden, Zoe Bautista, iStock.)

Students lead science lessons, story times and yoga practice from home

Elementary school classes may not be able to convene in person, but students in USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project are bringing their service-learning to children remotely with a video series that offers fun, learning and relaxation from their home to yours. [2 min read]
ByMichelle Boston

Angelina Crittenden, a human biology major at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, sits at a table. Lined up in front of her are a bottle of water, some vegetable oil, a drinking glass, tablets of antacid and various bottles of food coloring — everything she’ll need to teach someone how to make a lava lamp.

She fills the glass halfway with vegetable oil and then then tops it off with water. After adding drops of food coloring — Trojan colors of cardinal and gold — she crumbles up the tablets of antacid setting off a colorful bubbling effect.

As the steps are captured on video, she explains the scientific concepts viewers encounter, and at the end, they’re left with a very cool final product.

Her step-by-step scientific tutorial is part of a new video series that features students in USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project (JEP) bringing learning, literature and relaxation techniques to children and members of the Trojan Family during the pandemic.

Typically, JEP student participants would lead these activities in the elementary school classrooms where they tutor students in the area surrounding USC’s campuses as part of the program. But, with measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, they are taking their know-how and love of teaching to the community via video.

The video series includes science experiments led by students from JEP’s Young Scientists Program (YSP) that children and families can easily do at home; stories read aloud by reading and math tutors from the JEP ReadersPLUS program; and short but powerful yoga routines that anyone can do to for strength and relaxation led by Tina Koneazny, director of the JEP Little Yoginis program.

Crittenden, who was born and raised in South Los Angeles, has been teaching fourth-grade science with the YSP since August 2019. She says she loves it because she feels like it’s her duty to take the knowledge she gains at USC Dornsife and share it with members of her community.

“I hope to help young people here thrive. I would recommend YSP to anybody because you get to have so much fun developing your own style of teaching. On top of that, you get to encourage young students to pursue STEM and become more inquisitive thinkers. It’s a win-win.”

We invite you to view the video series on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram and share them with your friends and family.

Activites for Kids presented by the USC Dornsife Joint Educational Project