Rosa Parks Middle School students explore the wonders of science -- Gazette.Net


“Science Lights Up Your Life” was the theme of the first annual science and technology family night held April 24 at Rosa Parks Middle School in Olney.

As families entered, they received a glow necklace and explored all of the hands-on exhibits as the school was transformed into a “please touch” museum.

All activities were aligned with the science curriculum at each grade level. Families delved into the natural world through the eyes of an astronomer, an engineer, a biologist, a chemist, and a physicist.

Amy Rakowiecki, a science resource teacher and sixth-grade team leader, organized the event with the support of the science and technology departments.

Teachers generated ideas for their exhibits, gathered all of the materials, and organized them to attract kids of all ages.

Students led the activities.

Eighth-grader Leah Givvines led a water run-off exhibit.

“We took a sponge representing the grasslands and a brick representing the streets and sidewallks,” she said. “We poured the same amount of water on top of each to see the difference in how the water is absorbed. We demonstrated how the water runoff gets polluted as it comes off of sidewalks and streets.”

There were at least 22 different stations in which students got to interact with science. They observed Mars and Jupiter through a high-powered telescope, built molecules, tested the density of different liquids, made a tornado in a bottle and mixed glow-in-the-dark slime.

“We got to burn food and got to see how many calories were in chips and marshmallows,” seventh-grader Sadriel Avila-Benitez said. “It’s fun to burn stuff!”

Givvines deemed the event “so cool.”

“Everyone enjoyed it,” she said. “The parents could see all the stuff we do during class.”