PTO helps students find their inner scientist

Stephanie Vallez · Tuesday, October 24, 2017
On Thursday, Oct. 19, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted Family Science Night in the Elementary school.

Parent and students of all ages were invited to participate in the many fun, hands-on science projects and activities throughout the cafeteria.

Family Science Night gives students a chance to get hands-on with a variety of science experiments. Every table in the cafeteria held some kind of display or activity for the kids to touch or make.

For instance, a replica of the human skeleton was laid out, students could handle the bones and learn about their own skeletal structure. They could also look at real x-rays of human bones.

All of the different displays were guided by an experienced adult to instruct the kids through the experiments, share information, and answer questions.

That included representatives from the University of Iowa and their in-depth exhibit that taught about internal organs.

Their table included several dried organs, including a heart and half of a human brain. They showed off equipment for surgeries and how its used.

The Muscatine County Conservation Board brought their collection of local wildlife pelts.

Students and parents crowded around the table, excited to touch a squirrel’s fur for the first time, while others were more enchanted by the other pelts, such as the fox and the otter.

Some of the other tables included opportunities to build a house of cards, do a magnet maze, or make an energy bomb out of popsicle sticks.

There was also an area where kids could learn about momentum by designing their own experiments with tubes and marbles.

In this experiment they took turns taking turns raising and lowering the tubes or changing the angle of the tube to get the best results when the marble was dropped.

One could see many budding young physicists and engineers laugh as they learned the best ways to get a marble to loop around in a circle.

Another popular experiment involved a table with cups of dyed water. Students drew water into the pipette and mix colors to see what new colors they could make.

Kids mixed the colors together and then emptied their pipette into a small vial, then they got to keep the sealed vial of colored liquid.

Finally, a popular table involved ice melt and baking soda to create and exothermic reaction, a type of chemical reaction that releases heat.

Kids added the ingredients to a baggie and then sealed the baggie to watch their concoction become warm and fizz as the sealed baggie filled with the gas.

Just down the hall from Science Night, the elementary school library held it’s annual book fair. The library was packed with kids, parents and grandparents.
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