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Posted On: 8 Nov

Banks Road Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Banks Road

GRADE LEVEL: 3rd Gradespotlight-school-banksroad
PROGRAM: Lava, Lakes and Land-forms
Scientist: Davis Tate

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of teaching Banks Road Elementary third graders all about landforms and erosion in our Lava, Lakes and Landforms program. We spend a big portion of the program talking about the water cycle and how rain collects into rivers and streams, which in turn can cause erosion, resulting in all kinds of new landforms. It’s a fun and exciting topic, and it helps students visualize a process that can seem too big to really get a handle on.

My favorite part of the program, however, is when we make our slimy lava flow! We explain that lava flow is a form of mass erosion, as it involves huge amounts of earth moving from one place to another in a relatively short period of time. The take-home project we use to demonstrate this is basically our standard slime experiment, but with a twist. Most commonly in our programs, we make our slime in a bag, and the whole class works together to mix the ingredients, causing a super cool polymer reaction, which creates our slime. In this program though, we give each individual student their own cup of Polyvinyl and allow them to measure the correct amount of Sodium Borate.They then mix them together on their own.

Obviously, making slime is always a treat, but the real fun is seeing the students’ faces when two liquids start to congeal and make something totally new right before their eyes. This experience of watching two different things become one totally new thing was and is one of the most exciting for me. While I may know the science behind what is happening, there is still something magical about watching chemical reactions like this one. For some of these students, this experience may be the moment, or one in a series of moments, that puts them on a path toward a passion for science. It is a true joy to see.

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Posted On: 2 Nov

Olive Chapel Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Olive Chapel

GRADE LEVEL: 3rd Gradespotlight-school-olive-chapel
PROGRAM: Skin-N-Bones
Scientist: The Best Around

What a morning! I started my day driving out to Zebulon only to discover my school had a delay and the program needed to be rescheduled. So instead, I turned my car around and headed toward Olive Chapel to teach a few sessions of Skin N Bones.

As I was walking in, I heard a few kids announcing to each other, “Hey, Scientist Craig is here!” I said hello to the junior scientists I knew from camp before making my way to the classroom.

Since I was planning on taking over for another scientist at Olive Chapel because of the schools closing, I tried to quietly sneak in the back of the room without students noticing. They were all very engaged in learning about the nervous system and the different responses our bodies have to a stimulus.

Later in the day, I began teaching my sessions, and I have to admit, I was feeling pretty great. The kids were having a blast and my jokes were landing one after another. I think I might have a shot at stand-up comedy after today’s programs.

My favorite part about this program is the absolute amazement I see in their eyes when looking at real organs and bones, accentuating their learning about the human body in school. There were so many excellent questions about blood, germs, and the size of different animal’s hearts. I can’t wait to make it back to Olive Chapel. The third graders there were so well-behaved and excited to learn; that makes my job so much more enjoyable.

I will conclude with a fun fact we learned today about a blue whale’s heart. Did you know that a human could swim through a blue whale’s largest artery or vein? That’s no whale of a tale! Maybe I should think twice about that stand-up comedian gig.

Until next time!

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Posted On: 13 Oct

Wakefield Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Wakefield Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 1st Gradewakefield-spotlight-school
PROGRAM: Soil Rocks
INSTRUCTOR: Christine Martin
Christine’s Experience:

Today ROCKED at Wakefield Elementary School. I visited the first graders in Mrs. LaPiana’s and Mrs. Darrow’s class. The students became Junior Geologists because we studied soil, rocks, and minerals. If I had to pick something they liked the best, I think I would say the “Soil Safaris.” They loved searching for rocks, humus, and even some decomposers. What decomposers? Worms! It was slippery, slimy, and great! What a ROCKIN’ good time we had!

What I really loved about today was being there with my fellow scientist, Scientist Aaron: Rarely do we get to be at the same schools together. Not only were we at the same school, but he was also teaching “Soil Rocks!” in Mrs. Milton’s and Mrs. Bacon’s room. Here at SFFE, we believe in teamwork, and after each program, we like to check in on each other to see if anyone needs some help cleaning up or packing up. Well, as usual, Scientist Aaron came to check on me after each session, and boy were the Junior Geologists thrilled to see not one, but two scientists. They had so many questions for us: “Who’s that?”, “Where did he come from?”, “Do you guys know each other?”, “Do you guys work together?”, “Where are you going next?” They were so inquisitive, which is a great characteristic for a scientist. I think they show real promise in making a career out of it.

I can’t wait to make it back out to this school in the future.

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Posted On: 13 Oct

Millbrook Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Millbrook Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 4th Grademilbrookspotlight-school
PROGRAM: Can You Dig It?
INSTRUCTOR: Aaron Henderson
Aaron Henderson’s Experience:

This week I had the pleasure of going to Millbrook Elementary School in Raleigh to show some fourth graders some of the awesome things we can find inside the earth. We studied rocks and minerals through a program called “Can You Dig It?!” and got our hands dirty through some hands-on experiments!

We started our time off with some general information on the topic, but quickly entered into our own excavation! We were able to dig into our own piece of crust to find rocks and minerals just like we could in nature. The junior geologists prepared themselves with goggles and headlamps and quickly got to work to find all the items in their crust. They loved it! Their excitement was evident as they began to uncover hematite and peacock copper along with many other rocks and minerals.

Our experiments continued to identify and study the things we found. We looked at various characteristics such as hardness, iron content, and streak color by using a field test kit. It was amazing to see how much the kids enjoyed themselves, but also learned at the same time. Not only did the kids enjoy it but I could see the teachers excited about how excited the kids were as well!

All in all it was a great day with the classes there and I cannot wait to go back and teach the fourth graders at Millbrook Elementary!

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Posted On: 10 Jun

Be one one of the first 10 to complete our scavenger hunt for a Free Camp Voucher!

Want to win a Free Camp Voucher for one of our Single Day Camps? We are giving out 10 of them today! Look for the “Summer” Splat pictured here on our website to begin our June Scavenger Hunt. This logo will pop up on our website at a random time today between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. You will have to search our website to find it. It will be on one of these 5 pages:
summer-splat-ref

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

#wednesdaywebsitewatchers  ‪#‎ScienceFunSFFE‬‪  #‎SFFEscavengerhunt‬

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Posted On: 2 May

Barwell Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Barwell Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 4th Gradebarwell-Spotlight-School
PROGRAM: Nature’s Niche
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Kwiatkowski
Scientist Craig’s Experience:

This week I had the pleasure of visiting Barwell Elementary School on Monday. It has been such a long time since I have visited the school, so I was very excited to be back and teach the fourth graders. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by several students and staff who were very curious about the moving objects in my bins. I got to my first classroom and heard several whispers and guesses as to what was inside my bins and what animals they might see. My reply, as always, is that surprises are always better.

We started the program discussing what animals need to survive and how they develop adaptations in order to better survive in their environments. We quickly got into our first experiment where the students acted and ate like birds to see which bird was better able to survive with the food available. The students found it very amusing when all the hummingbirds tried their best but unfortunately weren’t able to gather enough food and died off in the habitats. One student commented how she was glad it was only a simulation and that the hummingbirds would continue to live in North Carolina.

One of the most exciting parts of the program is bringing out all the live animals. I love watching the kids faces as I take out lizards, tarantulas, and frogs. Their curious and inquiring minds always ask the best and most creative questions. My favorite part is getting out the bearded dragon, an animal they get to pet, and tell them to be careful because it breathes fire. I don’t always fool them, but at least it gets a few laughs.

Lastly, the students get to test out their creativity and create an new animal that would be able to survive in the tundra. They have to figure out ways it can protect itself, eat, and stay warm in the harsh environment. Their creations are always so impressive and I enjoy hearing about the adaptations they come up with.

Until next time Barwell 4th graders! Enjoy your week!

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Posted On: 18 Apr

New School Montessori is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: New School Montessori

GRADE LEVEL: PreschoolSpotlight-School-montessori
PROGRAM: Cosmic Quest
INSTRUCTOR: Christine Martin
Scientist Christine’s Experience:

Today, I blasted off to an alien school I have never been to before, New School Montessori. The life at this new planet were preschoolers and their supportive teachers. They made up the Children’s House section of the school. When I arrived, we set our eyes on the final frontier, space! First, the junior astronomers tried some astronaut grapes. They were surprised to see that they were hard and crunchy unlike grapes at a grocery store, which are soft and juicy. Then, we rocketed to another galaxy and found hydrophobic sand, sand that repels water.

The final experiment is the one that stuck out most for me, and probably, for the junior astronomers. We used air pressure to blast water rockets into the atmosphere. Since my space ship was in the shop today, I felt this was a good alternative. The reason it was so great were the reactions from the astronomers. Some things I heard were, “That was awesome!’, “That was the best day ever!”, “I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.”, and “Can you come back tomorrow?” I wish the answer to the last question was “yes,” because this was a fun filled morning of space exploration.

3…2…1…Blast off!

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Posted On: 15 Apr

Bugg Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Bugg Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 3rdSpotlight-School-bugg
PROGRAM: A Matter of Science
INSTRUCTOR: Blake Steiner
Scientist Blakes’s Experience:

Today I was invited to Bugg Elementary in Raleigh to visit the third graders and explore with them how matter can change from one state to another. The particular program I taught, A Matter of Science, is one of my personal favorites to teach, and in my opinion one of the absolute very best that Science Fun for Everyone has to offer.

I especially enjoy the introduction to the program, because the kids are always very familiar with the sort of physics we’re talking about. For example, we discussed how you add or take away heat to go from solid ice to liquid water, then to water vapor, and back again. Because everybody has observed these processes in their day to day life before, everyone got the chance to contribute and ask questions and get their brains really thinking about how the world around us works.

So after I showed the kids the sort of things we’d be studying, I was excited to tell them that the first experiment was to make ice cream for them all to eat right there in the classroom! Because we had an extra large group of young scientists, the cheers of joy were almost overwhelming. Turning liquid milk and cream into solid ice cream never fails to capture their attention.

While the ice cream was finishing freezing, we did a gas experiment where we popped plastic bags with vinegar/baking soda bombs, and churned out a couple dozen vials of disappearing ink for everybody to take home. At the end, we recapped over the lesson while we happily ate the chocolate ice cream we had made just an hour before. The enthusiasm of the children at Bugg Elementary, as well as the charming sculpture/mural on the side of the school left a wonderful impression on me, and I would be happy to return there to do more science fun.

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Posted On: 12 Apr

Buies Creek Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Buies Creek Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 4thSpotlight-School-buis-creek
PROGRAM: Fun Fossils and Formations
INSTRUCTOR: Aaron Henderson
Scientist Aaron’s Experience:

On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to Buies Creek Elementary School in Buies Creek, NC, to talk to some fourth graders about fossils and landforms. It was such a blast! As I walked into the class I could already sense the excitement they all had for the experiments we were going to go through.

We started off by simply talking about the difference between body and trace fossils and then quickly got into making our take home project! We made a mold fossil using clay and some replica dinosaur skulls. With these, we added plaster to make the caste fossil that the kids would get to take home! They were all so excited to see the finished product of this replica trace fossil.

Throughout the entire program I could see how interested everyone was to the topics discussed. There were many good, thought provoking questions asked which only further showed me how engaged they all were. We continued talking over landforms and ways that they could change. Everyone loved the ways we experimented with these. In groups, all the kids got to do their own volcano and experiment with earthquakes’ effects on man made structures!

Through both of the sessions at Buies Creek I had such a blast. The kids were excited which only makes my job more fun and enjoyable. I cannot wait to go back and do more experiments with all of the fourth grade junior scientists!

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Posted On: 5 Apr

Saint Pauls Elementary is our Spotlight School of the week

SCHOOL: Saint Pauls Elementary

GRADE LEVEL: 2ndSpotlight-School-saint-pauls
PROGRAM: Soil Rocks
INSTRUCTOR: Mary Colbert
Scientist Mary’s Experience:

I spent two wonderful days with the second graders at St. Pauls. For the first half of the program, the junior scientists learned about different types of soil and why it’s so important. The scientists mention that soil is habitat for many animals, that without soil we cannot grow plants for food and clothes, and get air from trees. For the second half of the program we pretended to be geologists in a cave looking for treasures within the Earth’s crust. So of course, I turned off the lights and with there headlamps on they searched for rocks and minerals!

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