Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Edison Intermediate/Middle School learned more about how people use science in their jobs Feb. 18 during the school's first Science Career Day.

Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Edison Intermediate/Middle School learned more about how people use science in their jobs Feb. 18 during the school's first Science Career Day.

Sixteen presenters who work in a variety of fields - some directly related to science, others not - participated in the event.

"We wanted to help students see the practical uses of science, that it's not just something you learn in the classroom or use to answer questions on a test," said sixth-grade science teacher Vicki Dunlevy.

Dunlevy coordinated the career day program with fifth-grade science teacher Jill Walker.

The professionals who participated in the program included everyone from a chemist and emergency room physician to a chef and toy manufacturer.

"We wanted the students to see that everyone uses science, even a chef or someone who makes toys," Dunlevy said. "We tried to have all fields of science represented."

One of the goals of the career day was to help encourage students to remain interested in science as they progress through school, she said.

The event was modeled after the All Arts Day held each year in the district. As with that program, students went from room to room to hear a number of presentations during the half-day science career day.

The idea for the career day stemmed from the science club that Dunlevy and Walker started this school year.

The club, which meets twice a month, provides students a chance to take part in a variety of science-related activities.

"It's a popular activity. We do a lot of fun things," Dunlevy said. "Most recently, the activity was building a rollercoaster."

But since the club is limited to only 30 participants this year, "we wanted to do something that could include more students," she said.

Dunlevy said she and Walker would like to expand the science club next year and may try to make the science career day an all-day event.

Many of the presenters were Grandview parents, including civil engineer Mike Rowland, who has a child who attends Edison.

"I think this kind of program is a great idea," Rowland said. "Anything that helps expose kids to science is a good thing."

He said he wanted to try to give the students a better idea of what a civil engineer does.

"I explained that it's not a job where you just sit in an office, that there's a lot of work out in the field," Rowland said.

The students had a lot of good questions to ask him about civil engineering, he said.

"I was really impressed with the students and their level of interest," Rowland said. "I make a lot of presentations as part of my job, but I don't get the chance to talk to students that much. I really enjoyed it."