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  • Writer's pictureRick Joseph

Science for Life in Novi

Emily Pohlonski is the kind of dynamic science educator that truly reaches and teaches her students. As a National Board Certified Teacher, president of the Network of Michigan Educators and an outstanding proponent of the new Michigan Science Standards, Emily creates engaging learning environments every day at Novi High School that consistently bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world practice.

On a recent visit to Novi, I had the pleasure of accompanying a group of Emily’s students on one of their regular trips to Providence Park Hospital’s Van Elslander Neuroscience Center of Excellence. These students have an expressed interest in the medical field, and on this day they would be exposed to a world-class facility where doctors from Chile to China come to practice new surgical techniques in a laboratory setting.

Ms. Pohlonski’s enthusiasm was palpable, as her kids were able to encounter a variety of specimens – from human teeth to the plant fibers of a dandelion - under high-powered microscopes. Students used the same state-of-the-art equipment as surgeons, and while the kids would have to wait to experiment on cadavers, they were still thrilled to experience this facility and witness the role that research and practice play in the daily work of health care professionals.

Emily Pohlonski afforded her kids the kind of life experience that left an indelible impression on them. They will certainly benefit from the opportunity to work with a teacher who fully appreciates the power and relevance of real-world experience at the high school level. Judging by the smiles on her students’ faces, this day elevated their science learning to a level they may have only previously dreamed about.

Students with Ms. Pohlonski in her science classroom at Novi High School

A student probes the intricacies of a bone fragment

Ms. Pohlonski bridges the gap between classroom theory and real-world practice

Exploring the interior of a green grape

Investigating specimens under the microscope

Students listen to a briefing at the Van Elslander Neuroscienc Center of Excellence

Emily Pohlonski, Rick Joseph and colleague Brian Langley at Novi HS

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