Dark window coverings block any sunlight from filtering into Gennifer Caven's 3rd grade classroom here in California's Sonoma Valley, but small lights can be seen flickering throughout the room. Groups of two or three students huddle together at their desks, taking turns using miniature flashlights to illuminate tiny figurines and wooden blocks on white paper. When the lights hit the sides of propped-up manila file folders, shadows appear.
These pupils at El Verano Elementary School aren't just learning the science behind shadows, they're also improving their English-language skills. Their instruction is part of a federally funded collaborative project between the 4,600-student Sonoma district and the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco. (Nora Fleming at Education Week)