Dunsmore Elementary students participate in the annual MSI Day

Photos by Misty DUPLESSIS Above left: DJ Lee assembled a cube using shapes of different sizes during the Dunsmore MSI Day. Below (from left) Tara Coffeen and Hannah Cary hope to gross family members with the slime they made.


On Nov. 22-23, Dunsmore Elementary hosted its annual MSI (Math Science Investigation) Day. MSI Day is a fun and unique way for students to learn new facts about subjects such as: chemistry, geometry, math, probability, statistics and music in an analytical way. The event takes place during the last days before the Thanksgiving break as a perfect end to the trimester.

Students were systematically placed into groups and assigned 45 minutes at stations. The groups participated in a total of nine stations. Slime was made and dyed, puzzles were created and solved, polyhedron’s assembled, shapes were tessellated and music was taught and composed during the two-day exercise.

Teachers at the school created MSI Day so that fourth, fifth and sixth graders could intermix and work in collaboration with each other to examine subjects in an unconventional way. Staff and volunteer parents worked together to make it an entertaining way to learn.

As part of the music portion of the exercise, fourth grade teacher Mike McGrath built instruments over the years for those families unable to afford purchasing them. This would assure everyone who wanted to participate could. McGrath wanted students to appreciate music as well as discover concepts and ideas behind the music.

Sixth grade teacher Cindy Gardener attributed the creativeness of MSI Day to fellow sixth grade teacher Carrie Wedemeyer and credited her for being the inspiration behind the event.

Organizer Wedemeyer is continually appreciative of the staff, parent and student efforts. She anticipates that each year the students continue to learn new things from their experience.

“[We] hope they learn many things, [like] building deeper understanding of geometry, how shapes work, the history of music and how sound is made through instruments,” she said. Wedemeyer also hopes that students gain knowledge on how to think outside the box using problem solving and reasoning.

At the end of day students went back to their classrooms and completed a series of questions about their involvement, like what their favorite station was and what they would like to see changed.  The students’ answers have helped MSI Day’s growing success and will determine what next year’s agenda will be like.