Home-Schooled children ‘Rocket Into Chemistry’ with UT event

April 16, 2010 | Events, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

Young home-schooled students will “Rocket Into Chemistry” with fun science experiments Saturday, April 17, at The University of Toledo.

About 50 students will participate in science activities and experiments during the “Rocket Into Chemistry” event from 10 a.m. to noon in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories and Wolfe Hall.

The students, ages 4 to 13 in kindergarten through sixth grade, will start their day with an “explosive” lecture and end with a sweet liquid nitrogen ice cream treat.

Activities are planned throughout the morning to educate students on states of matter, gas laws, acids and bases, chromatography of food dyes, and polymers. Most will take place in Wolfe Hall Room 1201. Participating students are from the greater Toledo area and southeast Michigan.

The UT chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates is sponsoring the event. Students from the group recently attended a national meeting of the American Chemical Society where they heard presentations about home-schooled students lacking opportunities to learn with hands-on experiments.

“Experimental learning is a crucial piece of science education,” said Jacob Deitsch, student coordinator for “Rocket Into Chemistry” and treasurer of the UT student organization. “It allows for science to basically come alive and show how information from a textbook can be taken from the page and placed into real life.”

Experiments might not be part of a home-school education for some students because of the costs and access to supplies or the laboratory science experience of parents, but that’s where this event can help, said Deitsch, a sophomore majoring in pharmacy.

“Our goal is to show students that science can be fun and show parents that teaching scientific concepts can be easily done with common household items,” he said. “Every single experiment with the students is done with supplies that can be found around the home or at any local grocery store.”

The UT student group received an Innovative Activities Grant from the American Chemical Society, which was matched by the UT Department of Chemistry, to fund the event. Additional sponsors are Imagination Station in Toledo and the Fremont Co. in Rockford, Ohio

For more information, contact Deitsch at jacob.deitsch@rockets.utoledo.edu or 419.202.5184.

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