Bucky’s Classroom introduces middle school students to college

Bucky’s Classroom students at D.C. Everest Middle School in Wausau.

Wisconsin middle school students will get a sneak peek at life on a college campus through the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Bucky’s Classroom program.

Rooted in the Wisconsin Idea, Bucky’s Classroom is designed to increase college opportunities for all students by building college access knowledge and providing classroom resources focused on career exploration. Presented through the new UW Connects statewide outreach program, the unique program establishes a “classroom to campus” connection — pairing middle school classrooms with UW–Madison students who teach pre-college preparedness and career exploration utilizing a curriculum developed by the UW–Madison School of Education.

UW–Madison students visit five times throughout the year, developing relationships with partnering middle school classrooms. The participating classrooms are also invited to experience campus life firsthand with a free visit to UW–Madison. The visit includes a tour of campus, lunch in one of the dining halls, and a hands-on learning experience in a science lab.

Bucky’s Classroom students at Toki Middle School in Madison work on a project. UW–Madison

“This program is helping level the playing field for all aspiring students wishing to pursue a post-secondary education,” said D.J. Huddleston, a participating teacher from D.C. Everest Middle School. “The information being provided to students has helped them to begin thinking more seriously about “going away” to college, even if they may be the first in their family to do so.  The discussions and activities are about post-secondary education, not just going to UW–Madison, and help the students better understand the opportunities available to them.”

“The class looks forward to each visit from our UW–Madison students. For some, it is their first opportunity to meet and talk with college students. They love the activities, especially time to ask questions about UW life and what is needed to find success at the college level,” said Mrs. Thelke, a cooperating teacher from Les Paul Middle School in Waukesha.

While Bucky’s Classroom visit opportunities are limited, K – 8 classrooms in Wisconsin and throughout the country are invited to request free materials meant to spark conversations around building a better understanding of college, learn about UW–Madison, and discover the importance of establishing a future foundation rooted in education.

For more information, email uwconnects@uwmad.wisc.edu.