Comstock ISD, Comstock, Texas
Challenge: Like in other small, rural districts, Comstock ISD administrators wanted to offer students advanced science classes that teach higher-level problem-solving skills. They also wanted to provide more opportunities to serve the community.
Initiative: Teacher Kamye Tims and local archaeologists co-led a scientific research class in which students digitally mapped the Comstock Cemetery, which resulted in a new historical designation for the site. Students have also helped researchers document ancient cave drawings done by indigenous peoples. This year, students researching rock art along the Pecos River used geographic information systems software, high-resolution photography and 3D modeling. “We asked the students to come up with research questions that can be answered by methods we use daily,” says archaeologist Jerod Roberts.
Impact: The students gain advanced problem-solving skills and get exposed to cutting-edge technology they otherwise would not get to use. They also learn about local history. The program has led some students to to major in archeology and natural sciences in college.
Advice: Search for ways students can earn high school credit while helping their community. This can be done by partnering with local organizations that can provide out-of-the-box educational opportunities.