More than 150 elementary school students spend day with college students
4/11/2007 3:02:51 PM
LYNCHBURG — More than 150 elementary school students from around Central Virginia got a taste for science recently during the Society for Physics Students’ annual Science Day.
Organized and conducted by college students and faculty from the college's Education Department and the Society for Physics Students, the event allows area students to experience hands on activities designed to spark their interest in the sciences. The students participated in six activities that included a botany scavenger hunt, a lightning demonstration show, a science quiz show, mini science project booths, an earthquake shake table building contest and a boat building contest.
Sponsored by AREVA and the Student Government Association, Science Day is open to third through sixth graders.
“The purpose is to educate and excite children about science, and the response has been amazing,” said Peter Sheldon, a physics professor and one of the faculty organizers of the event. “Teachers and parents tell me that when the children go home, they talk about it for days. Word of mouth has spread so that now the event fills up way before deadline.”
The elementary students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the program. More than 40 college students volunteered this year.
“They clearly love to work with the kids, and they are great at it,” Sheldon said. “Not only do they get to work with such a fun event, but they also learn about science, about working with the kids, and about giving back to the community.”
At the end of the daylong event, the elementary school students were assembled in the gym for awards. They were asked to “stand up if you like science.”
“The entire crowd jumped up with a deafening cheer,” Sheldon said.
CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of Communications