The Portage Haverhill Elementary students (grades young five through fifth) were treated to several exciting explorations at their Science Assembly on Monday, October 31! Mrs. Angela Willson-Conrad, a doctoral student in the Mallinson Institute for Science Education at Western Michigan University, designed and presented several experiments to the entire school of over 400 students in an assembly as she explained the scientific processes.
The students were fascinated as Mrs. Willson-Conrad showed how some materials mix together and how some materials cannot combine. For example, she put oil and water together with food coloring, and then dropped an Alka Seltzer tablet to construct a lava-looking lamp.
Mrs. Willson-Conrad connected Halloween and science when she developed another investigation using a carved pumpkin, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast. The students were very excited when the catalyst reaction helped them see the hydrogen peroxide become oxygen and water in the form of foam that oozed out of the pumpkin’s openings.
The students continued learning about science as they conducted more scientific experiments with their classmates. For example, in one third grade classroom, students dissected owl pellets and reconstructed the skeletons. Students were able to look at the reconstructed skeletons and skulls to analyze and identify which animal the owl consumed.
A different classroom of fifth grade students worked as crime investigators on an investigation to distinguish 4 different blood types. Students needed to solve the mystery of which suspect’s blood matched the blood found at the scene of the crime to determine the burglar.
The students loved learning about all different kinds of science on their special Science Day!