By PPCC Students in Lynnane George’s English 131 Class
October 14 was a great day for kids and science, as English 131 Technical Writing students got out into the community for the Cool Science Carnival Day to inspire kids with experiments designed to pique kids’ interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Cool Science hosted the Carnival Day at The University of Colorado Colorado Springs which impacted approximately 4000 kids and their parents from the community as they came to learn and explore with hands-on STEM experiments and workshops.
In addition to designing the experiments, the students also composed instructions and teachers’ guides for the experiments to be used in their classes.
Student Josh Muller said, “It felt good teaching kids about static electricity; how they learned something new!”
Other participants included Lisa Cook, Nathanael Hineline, Yarah Morales, and Courtney Norman.
The Cool Science non-profit organization brings hands-on science experiments and workshops to kids, parents, and teachers. Every year they put on a Cool Science Carnival Day as an outreach to the community’s children. The carnival is a free event open to kids of all ages, parents and teachers.
The writing students were participating in a service learning class which embeds community outreach into college courses. The activities in a service learning class address a need in the community, support the course objectives, and involve a connection between the campus and the world around it by challenging students to be civically engaged.
Excited laughter and shouts of “Cool!” and “Wow!” were heard often from the kids as they participated in the experiments and learned about the science concepts being demonstrated.
The students organized under the name Diction Depiction, and worked together to offer three hands-on experiments for the kids at the carnival. The scientific concepts of static electricity, density, magnetic forces and how substances dissolve were demonstrated by the students. Kids were enthralled with the students’ levitating orbs, no heat lava lamps, and freaky ferro fluids.
Emily Zavala Pena said, “I felt happy that I helped make a difference in kids’ lives by doing community service.”
The experiments the writing students demonstrated were made possible by a generous donation from Sam’s Club, which donated hundreds of bottles of water and several gallons of oil for the no-heat lava lamps.
The writing students enjoyed being out in the community.