Asbury Event Sparks Love of Science
WILMORE, Ky. — More than 200 students from kindergarten to eighth grade visited Asbury University’s campus on Saturday for Kids’ College — an annual event introducing kids to physics, biology and chemistry in a college setting.
Hosted by Asbury’s chapter of Sigma Zeta, a national honors society, the event welcomed families from across the state to a unique experience that is increasingly popular with families (slots are usually filled the day registration opens) and with the Asbury students who volunteer.
“We had more volunteers than ever before to help out,” said Prof. Anne Witherington, a Biology professor at Asbury and faculty advisor for Sigma Zeta. “It’s organized chaos, but everyone seems to go home excited about learning more about physics, chemistry and biology. I had one little girl who stopped me in the hall on the first floor and talked to me for almost 10 minutes. She could tell me everything she learned in physics and chemistry and her favorite things in biology — that’s what it’s all about.”
Senior Biology major Mary Eastham says the event is a great opportunity for science students, as well.
“Students get to practically apply what they’ve learned in class, and they get to pour into the kids of the community,” Eastham said. “It’s a way to get them excited and plant a seed in them that might encourage them to pursue careers in science.”
Parents say Kids’ College offers inspiration, practical science experience, and the excitement of being on a college campus. The hands-on experience rounds out kids’ education, offering opportunities that are frequently not available in school, and working in a college setting opens kids’ imaginations to the possibility of pursuing science beyond high school
“Having a son in seventh grade, I’m hoping this is a game changer,” said Dawn Oaks of Sadieville, Ky. “When kids hit seventh grade, they’re having to do more heavy school work, and I think he’ll really enjoy more of the hands-on activities. I like that the students here are leading the event. It ignites kids’ interest so when we go back home, they’re more excited about science.”