Third grade students in Dustin Romans’ class at Eugene Field have partnered with Northwest Missouri State University freshmen and sophomore students to learn about plant science.

The university class, Reporting People Progress, taught by Susanne Nettall, will develop uniquely-tailored lesson plans for each child. Romans visited the college class, talking to them about the importance of building relationships with students. He gave them the science standard of plants and life cycles for them to focus on.

Northwest student Tory Watson listens to third grader Alex Mayes as he excitedly explains to her why he likes Minecraft and how you can build farms and gardens within the game. Watson can then use Mayes favorite activity to create a lesson plan just for him.

On October 17, each college student was paired with a third grader. They performed an interest inventory with the youth, gathering details about how they learn and what they are interested in as well as building rapport. The university students focused on multiple intelligences such as computers, math, writing, singing and acting among others, discovering the strengths of the child.

Next, the college students will design a hands-on lesson plan tailored specifically for the third grader they are working with that teaches the student about plants. The task is to combine the student’s interests with state standards within the plan.

Each third grader will then be asked to complete the task in their lesson and present what they have learned to the rest of their classmates.

“It is touching my heart strings today. It’s coming full circle. I had this awesome student, Dustin, in my class and now he is giving back to future students,” Nettall said.

Romans expressed his excitement to see what the college students would create.

“As a second-year teacher being in Maryville, one of the cool things I get to do is influence the college students,” Romans stated.

He said because of his young age, he believes the experience will give college students a piece of hope that they too will find the right job after graduation. Romans enjoyed the collaboration and teamwork between the different schools stating “teamwork makes the dream work.” He said the collaboration made the topic fun and interesting to the third graders while giving the university students more experience and a unique piece for their resumes.

“Memories are what make education work. This is something these third graders will always remember,” Romans said.