Freshman year is a challenging transition for many students. The goals of the Riley Roars at Potawatomi Zoo Project are: to increase student success in a freshman level course, Biology; increase classroom engagement; and build a sense of community within Riley High School. By using real world connections to help increase engagement, we give our students a stronger foundation for the Biology curriculum and content. This foundation also allows students to build critical thinking skills and helps them succeed early in a challenging course. We believe this will lead to increased success and enrollment in higher level science courses.
The project also includes upper level science students, specifically AP science students, who have experienced success both inside and outside the classroom. These students will serve in a mentoring capacity at the zoo while Biology students are working to complete their research. The mentor students will have the opportunity to guide Biology students through aspects of the scientific process. They will also foster relationships with the underclassmen. We hope these relationships will increase student success across their four years of high school, improving attendance and graduation rates.
Portions of this project have already been funded by generous grants from both the SB Education Foundation as well as the SB Alumni Foundation.
Funded by South Bend, IN (August 2022)