Thursday, 10 November 2011 by Thomas Tavaziva
Elementary and middle school age children were treated to a morning of fun and entertainment at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor's "Science Saturday."
The third annual Science Saturday was an opportunity for students to explore and learn the wonderful world of science by performing numerous "hands on" science activities at various stations.
The event, which was sponsored by UMHB Science Education Resource Center (SERC), took place on Oct. 29 and more than 80 elementary and middle school students attended.
Director of SERC Dr. Darrell Watson described the event as an overwhelming success.
"The program was designed to motivate and excite students toward science," Watson said. "We want students to take more science classes in high school and hopefully in college too."
All of the departments in science at UMHB were represented at the York Science Center, where Science Saturday took place.
There were psychology activities which included mind-bending optical illusions and common myths of psychology.
The chemical demonstrations were led by Dr. Watson. The presentations included very cold liquid-nitrogen demonstrations and very cool dry-ice demonstrations. UMHB's Sigma Pi Chemistry Club also participated in the chemical activities.
Some of the other highlights included a demonstration from a voice responsive robot from the Robotics Club (Computer Science) and fun math puzzles. In the Physics presentation, students had the opportunity to make lightning and make waves with a turning fork.
The event lasted three hours and most of the attendees did not want to leave as they were having lots of fun.
"It was great to see people enjoy the chemical demonstrations," said Watson, the Dean of Sciences at UMHB. "I also enjoyed seeing our college students share their passion of studying science with younger kids. It was great."
There were more than 40 student and faculty volunteers who helped make the event a success.
According to Dr. Watson, there was positive feedback from parents and students who attended. They described the event as age appropriate for all children. Some parents requested more of these activities and SERC is considering having the event twice a year instead of once.
All proceeds went toward paying the expenses that were incurred during the event.
SERC regularly does chemical demonstrations designed to excite children and also provides resources for schools that may not have the equipment or skills to perform fun science activities.