Author and educator William Arthur Ward wrote, “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.”
That describes the underlying purpose of All Science Day, an annual event held at Stevenson Elementary School and sponsored by the K-3 PTO.
“I think our goal with Science Day is to inspire curiosity in our students,” said Jennifer Kinsinger, who served as chairwoman of this year’s event. “You never know what little moment is going to spark a child’s curiosity and inspire them to want to learn more.
“The best result we could imagine,” she said, “would be for a child to get excited about something they experienced at Science Day and go home wanting to learn more.”
Students were immersed in a day of science-related activities at the sixth annual event.
Throughout the day, each class rotated through nine activity stations that focused on variety of science-related subjects, including physics and force, trees and photosynthesis, and the brain and emotions.
“One of the best things about Science Day is that most of the activities are led by parents or people from the Grandview community,” Kinsinger said.
“It’s good for students to see that people in their hometown are involved in science. It might help inspire some of them to start thinking about getting more involved with science themselves, maybe even someday as a career.”
At each station, students heard a presentation or watched a film before participating in a hands-on activity.
In the cafeteria, students learned about photosynthesis, then planted a tree seed in a cup to take home. The students were encouraged to grow the seed over the winter and plant it in their yard in the spring.
Representatives from Ohio State University’s Food Science Club were on hand to lead students through activities relating to taste and sensory perception.
In one activity, students sampled Skittles, tasting some while pinching their noses and others with their noses open.
The exercise was designed to show the role of the nose in tasting.
Gravity was the topic in a program led in the school gym by Grandview residents Jack McNamara, a professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at OSU, and Nicole Farnham, an elementary educator. Both have children who attend Stevenson.
“We try to talk to the students about what gravity is and help them understand that gravity isn’t just something in outer space,” McNamara said. “Gravity is right here on Earth and we all experience it every day.”
Each group of students had the opportunity to try out the experiment credited to Galileo in which two objects of different mass are dropped from the same height. At Stevenson, students held and dropped two bottles filled with different amounts of water.
“Because of gravity, the two objects fall at the same rate, so they hit at the same time,” Farnham said.
During the first few sessions, “some of the students already knew about the experiment, but some of them didn’t believe it, even after they dropped the bottles themselves,” she said, “so we made videos of the students dropping the bottles so they could see it for themselves.”
Farnham and McNamara have participated in All Science Day from the first year.
“It’s great to see them learning and having fun learning out of the classroom,” McNamara said.
“I think Science Day helps show students that learning about math and science can be fun,” Farnham said.
Architect and Grandview resident Megan Murphy led students through an activity related to her field.
The students learned about architecture, then used large cushions to build a 7-foot catenary arch – or at least they tried.
“It really doesn’t matter whether they were successful or not,” Murphy said.
“It’s an activity where we are learning as we go, and one of the things I wanted them to see is that we can learn even when something fails. Maybe especially if it fails, because that helps you understand why something works when you’re successful.”