Rep. Suzan DelBene (D) from Washington’s 1st Congressional District spent the morning of Dec. 19 in an eighth-grade classroom at Stella Schola Middle School in Redmond.
DelBene co-taught a physics lesson with teacher Brigitte Tennis.
Students explored the concept of potential and kinetic energy using a pop-up alien toy. They planned and carried out an investigation to test their alien to see how high it “popped,” as well as how long it took to pop up. Students then conducted experiments by altering one variable to change the “pop-height.”
“This lesson was really fun and I get the idea of differential pressure much better now,” eighth-grader Katherine Leavitt said.
DelBene an advocate for public education, spoke with students about her own experiences growing up in Newport Hills. She discussed how she studied biology due to her love of animals, worked as a technology entrepreneur and as a business leader in the private sector before she became a legislator.
DelBene said it was, “exciting to meet these great students, to teach them and also to learn from them.”
Tennis, a veteran teacher in Lake Washington School District, has been inviting legislators into her classroom to co-teach with her for the past four years.
“It really gives legislators a hands-on view into a modern classroom and what teaching young people is about,” she said.
She said this way, legislators can make more informed decisions about education when they are in session because they bring first-hand knowledge of a working classroom to the table.