PLATTSBURGH On June 12 and 13 students from nine area schools were treated to a day of hands-on science. In an era when many students dont find science very exciting, Clinton Community College and the Colleges National Science Teachers Association Student Club exposed 310 fifth graders to aspects of science that were both interesting and fun. Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Biology Michele Snyder said one of the programs primary goals was to stimulate the students interest in science. This is the second year the college has hosted the program. Snyder had special praise for Valcour Imaging and CVPH saying, This program wouldnt happen without their financial support!
In the morning the students participated in five interactive sessions involving anatomy, physiology, physics and biology. In the Rolling Car Chase program students were asked to develop a hypothesis regarding the distances cars would roll off ramps of varying heights. They utilized metric measurement, mathematics, graphing and data collection to conclude that cars descending from the highest ramp will travel farther. In Volcanoes students conducted lava races to learn how the viscosity of magma affects a volcanos eruption. In the DNA session students played a BioJeopardy game that tested their cell structure knowledge. (Their knowledge was impressive!) Facilitators Liz Lookenbill and Kelly Robinson explained the nature and structure of DNA and the students actually extracted DNA from fruit. In the Your Lungs, Your Body session, facilitator Maureen Dixon demonstrated the dangers of smoking by having students blow into a healthy pig lung and then into a lung that had been exposed to smoke. The healthy lung fully inflated while only the bottom third of the unhealthy lung inflated.
In the afternoon students were treated to a physical science and light demonstration show. In one of the four physical science exercises someone stepped into a plastic bag and all the air inside was removed by a vacuum cleaner. Since there was no longer any air exerting outward pressure, the outside air pressure was felt strongly by the unlucky person inside the human vacu-pac. In another experiment called Elephant Tooth Paste catalytic action was demonstrated when steam was emitted from ordinary dish washing liquid. The Flaming Ferris Wheel emitted lights of varying colors when electrons, which were excited by heat, returned to their unexcited state.
Undoubtedly the 5th graders enjoyed their day away from their normal school routines. Hopefully, the demonstrations they witnessed and participated in at Clinton Community College will stimulate a growing interest in the sciences.
The participating schools included: Chazy Central Rural School, Keene Central, Momot Elementary, Seton Academy, Keeseville Elementary, Rouses Point Elementary, AuSable Forks Elementary, Willsboro Central and Minerva Central.