A student sets a methane bubble on fire, showing how much less dense methane is than air and that methane can be trapped in soap bubbles.
Westerville South High School’s STEAM and Interact Clubs joined forces in April to sponsor a Family Fun Science Night. Because Starry Night had been cancelled for 2019, the groups wanted to provide fun science activities for Westerville’s elementary children and their families, while simultaneously raising money for two worthy Rotarian causes.
Westerville South science teachers organized teams of high school students to run the hands-on happenings: Mark Schmidley provided the physics demonstrations, Aislynn Valentine set up environmental science activities, Blake Holderman and the Warbots team designed engineering challenges, Shelly Corl prepared biology explorations, and Beth Eddy set up demonstrations for both chemistry and materials science. In addition, two visiting scientists brought their menagerie of science fun: Jack Brown, South’s resident Science Mentor, brought engaging gravity demos and Julie Reynolds, an OSU research scientist, displayed her famous Insect Petting Zoo.
Although the event was free, donations were accepted from participants, which will be divided between an orphanage in Mexico, Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, and a project to provide safe drinking water to three orphanages in Kitala, Kenya. In the end, about $200 was raised for the charities.
Enthusiasm for science ran so high among the children, their parents, the high school students, and the teachers, that organizers are already planning a similar event for next year.