Science has always been my favorite subject because it’s so fascinating how the world works. Being involved with Astronomy Club has its perks including trips to the science museum and volunteering for Elementary Science Fun Night. Elementary Science Fun Night is a volunteer opportunity with different science clubs on campus including Astronomy Club, Physics Club and Geology Club. The clubs come together and go to an elementary school in the area to teach kids about science in a fun, hands-on learning environment.
This year, the clubs traveled to Goodview Elementary. From 6:30-8:00pm kids visited various stations taught by the clubs. The Geology Club brought a volcano demonstration, rocks, minerals, fossils and toy dinosaurs to the event. Kids colored various species of dinosaurs, which kept them occupied for a while.
The Physics Club brought beads that glow different colors under UV light. Liquid Nitrogen was also a popular demonstration to showcase physics to kids. Dr. Ferstl, a physics professor on campus always brings liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen provides plenty of fun experiences for kids. The most common experiment is dipping a bouncy ball into liquid nitrogen then dropping it on the floor so it shatters. As a bonus, ice cream can be made with liquid nitrogen and it’s delicious.
Gravity is a scientific concept that was well represented at this event. The activity was called a gravity well, which consisted of fabric, a dense ball and a marble. The dense ball was at the center of the fabric. Kids rolled a marble around on the fabric, which represents how gravity impacts the planets and the solar system.
Astronomy Club also brings its fair share of experiments. Impact cratering is a very popular activity that Astronomy Club provides. Kids throw various spherical objects in sand to determine the size and shape of craters that would be created by each variation. Craters are collisions between an asteroid, comet or the meteorite with the moon. So basically this station simulates how the moon is impacted by various objects in space.
The station I was responsible for was about static electricity. As I turned on the machine, I put both of my hands on the big silver globe. The conveyor belt in the machine would pick up speed generating electricity that would get transferred to me. Kids were amazed and a little freaked out because my hair reacted really well. If anybody came near me, they could feel the electricity that I radiated. My station was super interactive because kids would poke my arm and get shocked. Some kids laughed and thought it was the coolest concept ever.
Joining a science club was one of the best decisions I made at WSU. I’m not a physics major, but I still love participating and being an officer of the Astronomy Club. Participating in fun volunteer events like these make for a great weekend. Don’t be afraid to join a science club! You will learn a lot and meet great people in the process.
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