First Science Day big hit at Stevenson
Stations staffed by local parents, residents designed to drum up students' interest in science
Reading, writing and arithmetic were set aside for one day last week at Stevenson Elementary School.
Students instead were immersed in science Oct. 16 as the K-3 PTO held its first Science Day.
Twenty-three stations were set up in the gymnasium, each featuring a community member involved in some branch of science as a career or hobby.
"We (had) parents, grandparents and friends of parents participating," said Joanne Taylor, who led the Science Day event with Tessa Carrel.
"We're fortunate that we have so many people connected to the sciences in our community," she said.
All kinds of science were featured, Taylor said.
At many of the stations, students were able to engage in hands-on activities, she said.
"We want the students to know that science is fun," Taylor said. "We're trying to inspire their interest in science."
"Another idea we're trying to get across to them is that science is a part of your everyday life, that there's virtually nothing you do that doesn't have some sort of connection to science," Carrel said.
Students were asked to keep a "science journal" about what they learned and saw at each station, she said.
"A big part of what scientists do is observe, so we wanted them to do that," Carrel said.
The PTO plans to make Science Day an annual event, Taylor said.
"We really want to build on what we've done this first time and make it even bigger and better next year," she said.
Jean Mattes, whose son is in the first grade, volunteered at an exhibit of seeds.
"It's been fun to watch the kids come up and examine all these seeds," Mattes said. "I think a lot of them are surprised that a big vegetable or plant comes from such a small seed."
George Keeney, an Ohio State University entomologist, displayed a number of insects and arachnids at his station, including his butterfly collection.
"I get a lot of reaction, especially about the millipedes with 252 legs and the scorpions I have on display," he said.
Some of the students were excited about observing the insects; others, less so, Keeney said.
"There are some who are a little afraid of bugs, I guess," he said. "One of the things I wanted them to understand is that most insects are not harmful to humans and play an important role in our ecosystem."
Keeney said he was pleased to be part of the Science Day.
"It was an event like this when I was about these kids' age that got me interested in science and insects and ultimately led to my career," he said. "Maybe some of the kids that stopped by today are going to be future entomologists."