What happens when middle school students present to a group of adults on topics like the physics behind a golf swing, how to invest in the stock market, or how to launch a rocket? Chances are, they won’t just be impressed, but they will say “WOW!” From top executives of major companies to parents and teachers, the adults that fill the room at the culminating WOW! events are consistently blown away by what students have learned with volunteer “Citizen Teachers” over the course of a semester in Citizen Schools.
This spring things were no different at three schools in North Carolina...
Students from Citizen Schools’ three North Carolina partner schools in Durham and Charlotte presented what they learned throughout the semester to over 800 guests including a member of Senator Richard Burr’s office. They might have been a little nervous, but it didn’t show. With confidence, they demonstrated how a robot operates, how a computer works, and their design for an air quality sensor that will be used in the community.
After the Lowe’s Grove WOW!, one parent commented, “Our son has received more educational and real life experience than we could have imagined…[He] was able to meet various professionals in different industries from biologists to electrical engineers ... We believe this will help him diversify his outlook on what field he would like to pursue in college."
The true “WOW!” moments are when students wow themselves, like when Angie and Tyresse from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Charlotte shared essays they wrote on their hopes and goals for the future:
“When I grow up I want to be a crime scene investigator. I know I will impact the world in so many different ways. All the children in the world will be someone when they grow up,” said 6th grader Angie.
"My dream is to become a psychologist and help people who have a disorder. I believe those who are Autistic are born with a gift. Autistic people will show the world that they are smart, genius people who can do anything in the world," said 7th grader Tyresse.
And just like that, an aspiring crime scene investigator and psychologist are on their way to making a difference in their communities.
These are just a few of the many moments that keep volunteers coming back to work with middle school students in North Carolina, and across the country. Sign up to volunteer this semester and see for yourself, that all students are capable of amazing you.