Science night at Wilson’s Mills encourages building and creating

pseligson@newsobserver.comMarch 31, 2014 

Bubbles, foam rockets, gardens in a glove: This science night had it all.

After winning one of 75 Folt Science Night kits given out statewide, Wilson’s Mills Elementary School invited students and their parents to a night of hands-on science March 25. The free kits, part of the N.C. Science Festival, included all of the instructions and most of the materials needed for a variety of experiments.

The family night followed a science week in which fifth-graders taught younger students. On March 25, fifth-graders took the lead once again, helping younger children build marshmallow-toothpick buildings, make colorful goo and design bracelets based on each person’s genome.

Second-grader Dauryen Milton, 8, said he came out because he “wanted to play games and do science.” For him, science is fun because of all of the hands-on projects.

Other children echoed what Dauryen had to say. Unlike classes that are on paper or at a white board, science is a chance to build and create.

Olivia Macedo, 7, a first-grader, was there with her 5-year old-sister, Isabela. “It’s cool,” Olivia said while folding paper to build a rocket ship. “We can make stuff and discover different stuff.”

The pair put light-foam rockets onto the end of a tube that was connected to an accordion-like ball of plastic. One sister would aim, and the other would jump on the ball to push air through the tube and shoot the rocket at empty milk cartons. Both grinned whenever the rockets blasted off.

Humberto Torres Diaz Jr., 8, is a second-grader who came with his family. He likes science for many reasons, including a love of dinosaurs. “I like science because it will be a great and awesome thing to do and also creating and doing technology,” he said.

Humberto said he wants to learn more about science and technology. His father said he couldn’t have forgotten about science night because Humberto Jr. and his younger brother, Alex, reminded him every day for weeks. He called science night a good learning opportunity for his children and a great chance to spend time together.

Jeff Duffield brought his two young daughters, Claire, 8, and Meghan, 10. Duffield said he came to support the school in offering a program that proved fun and educational. “It’s very nice,” he said. “They have a lot of exhibits here, and the kids that are presenting here are excited to be here.”

Shannon Macedo is president of the Parent Teacher Association at Wilson’s Mills Elementary and also the mom of Olivia and Isabela. She likes the science projects because kids have fun, and “it makes them want to have a career in science when they get older,” she said.

Principal James Stoke said he is proud of the science going on at the school. “For me, it’s a wonderful sight because the kids are engaged, learning and having fun, thrilled to be here after school,” he said.

Plus, science is just fun, as Dalton Clowers, 9, explained. His favorite part of the night? “The gross goo because you get to put whatever color you want in it and keep it,” he said.

Seligson: 919-836-5768

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