The Results are In: Experiments are Fun
WILMORE, Ky. — From a scientific point of view, the kindergarteners sprawled on the floor of a classroom on the second floor of the Hamann-Ray Science Center this Saturday were experimenting with viscosity and shear stress in non-Newtonian fluids. But from their point of view, the cornstarch-and-water mixture had a far higher calling: pure, slimy fun.
Asbury University hosted 240 elementary- and middle-school children during the Science Department’s annual Kids College event this past weekend. Children from kindergarten through 8th grade learned about physics, chemistry and biology through hands-on experiments and demonstrations courtesy of Sigma Zeta, Asbury’s Math and Science honor society, and campus volunteers.
“It’s an opportunity to do something kind of different and a little out of the box, and a good chance to augment what the kids are learning at school,” said Julianne Wyrick ’12, president of Sigma Zeta. “Our science volunteers put a lot of work into choosing the experiments and decorating the rooms, and the education majors also helped with the kids.”
Throughout each of two sessions, students peered into microscopes, held crayfish, discussed the molecular composition of water, created miniature Lava Lamps and (cautiously) viewed the inner anatomy of dissected frogs — all with the goal of encountering various natural sciences in a fun, accessible way.
Kids College drew participants from throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana, many of whom are home-schooled and eager for the chance to experience a college lab environment. Vicki Luciano from Lexington, Ky., brought her four daughters for the morning session.
“Science for young girls is so important,” she said. “When they can come someplace like this and not be intimidated, it makes such a big difference in how they view the subjects. They love having real college-age teachers, too.”