Exploration & Support Center

Have you ever heard of a Newton’s Cradle or an Euler’s Disk? You would have heard of these and many other interesting things if you visited the Exploration and Support Center (ESC) at Plainwell Middle School.

The library has been redesigned into an ESC six-ring learning playground. The ESC has an updated library, a tinkering area and exploration tables. There are also 30 computers that support student research and virtual learning and the ESC is home to the after school ETT homework initiative and credit recovery.

The exploration tables and tinkering area are the most popular areas used by the 150 to 170 students that visit the ESC before school and during lunch periods every day. The exploration tables provide opportunities to explore earth and physical science. Tables have rocks, minerals, fossils, shells, magnets, magnifying glasses and a microscope. A tank full of hermit crabs  and a 55-gallon fish tank are available to observe.

The tinkering area allows students opportunities to collaboratively build and create. With several thousand pieces of plastic tubes, wood planks and other types of building materials, students get to understand the process of ideation and iteration as they design and build creative structures and contraptions. There are many other design opportunities available such as pipe cleaners, origami, and a light table.

The Exploration and Support Center will continue to add new exploration items and learning opportunities throughout the school year.

ESC Aide:  Judy Bishop
Email:  judy.bishop@plainwellschools.org
Phone: (269)685-5813 Ext. 1410

Resources for Students

Click Here to Browse the PMS Library Catalog

Research Links

MLA Citation Help

MLA Citation Machine

Online Encyclopedias, Almanacs, and Factbooks

Click here to access World Book Online!

Encyclopedia Britannica (includes Compton’s Encyclopedia, and Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia) Username and password required. See Mrs. Hardesty in the ESC for the username and password.

Farmer’s Almanac

C.I.A. World Factbook

Find Articles at Large Internet Periodical Databases:

ELibrary Elementary Search

Gale Database

Michigan Electronic Library (MEL) Databases
To reach these databases from your home computer, go to the Michigan Electronic Library and have your parents sign in with their Michigan Driver’s License number.

Search the Internet for Information:

Recommended Search Engine List

Social Issues Research:

Opposing Viewpoints Reference Center –  For pro/con arguments and statistics on controversial topics. Username and password required. See Mrs. Hardesty in the ESC for the username and password.

CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) –  is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.  (Username and password are the same as Encyclopedia Britannica.)

6th Grade Human Diseases Research

New York State Department of Health Website

Related Links / Resources

Copyright questions answered

Social Issues Links: Balanced Politics

Reading for Fun

Books, Books, Books! Reading for Fun

Teen Reads has author interviews, book reviews, online polls, news about hot new releases.

Series Reading: Which book comes next? The Mid-Continent Public Library has a great website which lists series books in order!  You can look up by series name, book title, or author.

Guys Read — Looking for a book that a guy would enjoy?  Check out this website!

Reading Rants — “Out of the ordinary teen book lists!”

MELCat – Michigan’s Electronic Library Catalog allows you to search for books from Michigan’s participating libraries and have them delivered to your local library.

Homework Help

Homework Help from Ransom District Library

Social Issues Links: Homework Center

Other Libraries

Links to Local Libraries

Allegan District Library in Allegan, MI

J.C. Wheeler Public Library in Martin, MI

Kalamazoo Public Library in Kalamazoo, MI

Otsego District Public Library in Ostego, MI

Ransom District Library in Plainwell, MI