Stories of Service: Isabel Gross

Isabel Gross, an AmeriCorps member with the Aspire! Afterschool Learning – Learning Links program in Arlington, saw the spark of excitement recently working with a student on his science fair project. “(My student) Brian and I were . . . building different kinds of bridges and seeing how many books they would hold before breaking. We were trying to figure out why some bridges held more books than others, and Brian came up with a number of potential factors — length, different binding materials like glue, tape, and twine — but could not determine conclusively which one of these had been responsible. I brought up the idea of a scientific constant, which he had not heard of before. He looked at me in surprise and said, ‘You mean, if we keep all the factors but one the same then we would know for sure?’, and I affirmed. He looked incredibly excited and started designing future experiments to answer the question!” Aspire! Afterschool Learning AmeriCorps members provide mentoring to children during the school day, after school, and in the community. Learning Links builds on partnerships with four local elementary schools and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing to provide after school tutoring and enrichment activities in the Columbia Heights West and Pike Village Center neighborhoods of South Arlington.

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