Last year, Lewiston Public Schools superintendent Bill Webster rode in the inaugural BikeMaine and brought 40 fourth graders along with him. Well, not literally. Rather, Webster brought BikeMaine to the fourth graders.
At 3 p.m. on each weekday of BikeMaine 2013, Webster talked via FaceTime with the two fourth grade classes at Longley Elementary School. The students asked Webster questions about the history and landmarks of towns he rode through, and he gave them visual tours of the BikeMaine villages. During his last call to the class, he showed them around the swimming area at Camp Jordan where fellow cyclist Bill White was enjoying the water. At the students’ request, White swam out to a yellow float and did a cannonball off it. Webster also shared videos and photos of Maine sights, including Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, via a DropBox folder. The teachers used laminated wall maps of Maine to help students follow along with Webster’s trip.
The project is a great fit for the fourth grade curriculum, which includes Maine geography and history. Teachers also applied Webster’s trip to the English Language Arts and Math curricula through writing assignments and measurements of distance and area. The fourth graders also learned about Walk and Bike Safety. Additionally, many Lewiston students have also done little, if any, travel outside of the city, and this project helped them see more of their state.
BikeMaine is thrilled that Webster is joining us again to “Pedal the Waterways”, and that his project has grown even more! This year Webster has offered the project to other fourth grade classroom in Lewiston, and the district is looking for future grant funding to expand the curriculum and interactive features further.
Webster said he hopes to feature other BikeMaine cyclists in his FaceTime calls with students. So you may have a chance to chat with some of the fourth graders while on route this September.