Students at Sunset Heights and Pleasantview Elementary Schools were treated to a Science Center of Iowa Outreach Program in March. The assemblies were presented by Kyle Schura, a traveling Science Center Outreach presenter, who takes science on the road. He gave students an explosive science experience.
Called “Boom!” the program is one of many offered by the center. Teachers can choose from a list of age appropriate presentations that generally last about 45 minutes. From Discovering Dinosaurs, Simply Electrifying, What’s Inside You, to Enter the Universe and more, programs are designed for different grades levels, beginning with preschoolers. They are intended to excite kids about learning through live science experiments and demonstrations, and are for groups of up to 250 students.
Pleasantview students in grades pre K, first and second, and second, third and fourth graders at Sunset got to experience Boom! This particular program explores the interactions of pressure, temperatures, and how different states of matter interact to make explosions. During the presentation, Schura carefully explains what makes things blow up. His demonstrations included some fiery displays, loud pops, big bangs and a discussion about safety, as well as some hands on participation from students.
Students responded to the demonstrations with enthusiastic applause and squeals of delight. Ten year old Cazadee Pint said, “ It was pretty cool and fun.” When Schura was demonstrating with liquid nitrogen, she said they learned if you put a match in liquid nitrogen it will kind of explode and make a really big sound. “We learned to stay away from fire,” she added.
The Webster City Elementary Parent Teacher Organization was responsible for bringing the Science Center program to the elementary schools. Each year their fund raising efforts through events like book or cookie dough sales, allow students to experience such programs from the Science Center, field trips, or plays. The Old Creamery Theater group from the Amana Colonies presented a play on the Six Pillars of Character last year and will present a play again this year.
Also through PTO’s efforts much of the money needed for a new, safer surface to replace pebbled rock on the playgrounds and a much needed concrete wheelchair ramp for one was raised.