Aha Moments

Science workshops for kids prove popular with 4th-8th graders

Can you power a cell phone with potatoes?

What are superballs made of?

How does law enforcement detect banned substances coming through customs when those substances are dissolved in a harmless-looking liquid?

Why shouldn't you eat a lollipop in a forensics science lab?

Fourth- to eighth graders discovered the answers to these questions and more during the popular "SMaRT Careers for Kids" program offered by the science faculty at the Monroe Campus of Northampton Community College (NCC) on April 30.

"SMaRT" stands for "science, math and related technologies."  The program is held each year to fuel youngsters' interests in fields that many find fascinating, but some find intimidating.

Each of the 54 participants got to choose three of ten workshops ranging from "Cells, DNA and Genes" to "Mysterious Reactions."

They could learn how to dye clothes with beets and other foods, count the number of fish hiding in a lake, calculate velocity by racing remote control cars, and build and launch bottle rockets, one of which soared higher than Kapp Hall.

They could also envision themselves as college students.  NCC science majors led several of the sessions wearing shirts bearing a cartoon of a mad scientist and a quote from Albert Einstein, saying "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

Mad fun indeed!  Educational, too!

Photos of the event are in this gallery.