ST. LOUIS – Fifth grade students at Claymont Elementary School are filing into the cafeteria. It’s not lunchtime yet, but there’s a guest speaker on the menu.

FOX 2 was invited to explain how the techniques journalists use can help the students execute their research projects.

The students are in the process of picking their topics.

“I’m researching bees,” said fifth grader Katelyn Lenz.

“My topic is cheerleading,” said Delaney Douglas.

Another student wanted to do their project on a family member.

“My adopted younger sister has cerebral palsy, but I never really thought about her as different from the family,” said Jack Maley.

Maley is using his sister’s story to educate his classmates.

“Now, I’m learning a bunch about it. So yeah, it’s kind of cool,” he said.

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“I bet a lot of these kids don’t know because there’s not a lot of kids that have it. Telling people about it is kind of cool,” Maley said.

Kimberly Cisel, a fifth grade teacher at Claymont Elementary School, said she wants the students to work together on the project.

“We like the kids to be able to collaborate with each other,” she said. “To collaborate with community members like yourself to be able to learn, investigate, and grow.”

Cisel and her colleagues want this project to get their students’ minds thinking big picture and thinking for themselves.

“We’re one layer of a big, long k-12 journey and beyond,” Cisel said. “Being able to do our piece and grow those critical thinking skills and the ability to write about what we’re thinking and then share it out is so important.”

A student shared what they learned from the topic they chose.

“There’s something called propolis. It comes from the hive, and I did not know about that,” Lenz said.

“Now, I’ve learned that you can also do competitive, which is more serious, and you’re not cheering for a team, you are the team, and it’s more of a performance, so that’s really awesome,” Douglas said.

It’s never been easier to find information and misinformation. The lessons these students are learning won’t just help them make the grade, they’ll hopefully make the world a better place.