Community Gift Spotlights Science

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COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — School budgets being what they are these days, a lot of kids have to wait until middle school for some key experiences. But students at Bohemia Elementary don’t have to wait thanks to the Cottage Grove Rotary Club.

The students in Miss Baskew’s fifth grade science class are, in a word, enthusiastic.

“This would be enough for them all day, I’m sure. They’d just sit for hours and look at things,” said Baskew.

The students were intrigued by the way things just look different through a microscope lens.

“It’s a bit funky. It’s cool,” said fifth grader Kaylee Yeo.

“It’s strange because you don’t expect it to be a really light rock because it’s made out of sand,” said Caulfield.

“It’s very different because it looks smooth and yet it’s got shiny flecks, even if it’s a deep red or maybe it’s clear,” said fifth grader Cormac Gill.

It was an experience like this that can lock a kid into science for the rest of his or her life.

“Here at Bohemia, we’re lucky. Our fifth grade kids get science for about an hour every day because we have a rotation,” said Baskew.

The fifth graders had the opportunity to learn; but up until a few weeks ago, they didn’t have the tools.

“They only had four microscopes. So some of the kids didn’t get to use a microscope in their studies for a week at a time,” said Keith Folkman, Cottage Grove Rotarian.

That’s when Miss Baskew reached out to the Cottage Grove Rotary’s Community Enrichment Fund.

“We bought her 10 new microscopes to augment her class,” said Folkman.

What a difference they’ve made.

“They’re awesome,” said Yeo.

“It’s fun to be able to use them because we used to only have five. Now we have 15! Yay!” said Caulfield.

“It’s a really great microscope instead of just something boring to use. It’s really fun,” said Gill.

“Everybody knows schools don’t have the kind of money we wish they did, so when people in our community are willing to put forth time, effort and money to help the kids, we really appreciate it,” said Baskew.

“Thanks to Mr. Folkman and the Cottage Grove Rotary Club,” said Gill

The microscopes are one of the largest donations, but the Cottage Grove Rotary Club has spent more than $1,600 on the city’s elementary schools.

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