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MAC Science Instructors to Second-Graders: “It’s All About Molecules”

North County second-graders recently took part in a science field day tie-dying T shirts, making colorful, slimy goo, and creating balloon rockets and hoop gliders, all to learn about molecules and how they work. Instructors Dr. Margaret Williams and Dr. Nathan Calkins from MAC’s Science Department helped coordinate the day with North County second grade teacher Sherry Golterman
Mineral Area College’s science instructors recently brought the field trip to some North County second graders on April 26.

MAC Science Department’s Dr. Nathan Calkins and Dr. Margaret Williams coordinated the second annual, science field day at North St. Francois County Primary School with second-grade teacher Sherry Golterman. The day went smoothly, thanks to 21 parent volunteers and 24 North County High School Science Club students.  About 230 second graders, including about a dozen special needs students, participated in the event.

This year’s theme, “It’s All About Molecules” rotated students through a series of six, 30-minute stations in which they learned what molecules were and how molecules could be put together, made “happy” or “angry,” moved around,  torn apart, and transformed.

The students learned how small molecules could be put together into giant molecules at the station entitled “Starch Slime,” where they made a colorful slimy goo. They learned about color and how to make colorful molecules “happy” or “angry” by tie-dying T-shirts at the “Chemistry is to Dye For!” station. 

At the “Take Flight” station, students pushed molecules around using balloon rockets and hoop gliders that they made. Students also heard molecules moving when they used their duck and chicken calls, which they made at the “Birds Words” station.

The “Elephant’s Toothpaste” station allowed students to see how hydrogen peroxide molecules could be broken apart into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. Molecules were transformed at the “Clock’em” station where students timed the transformation by observing a sudden color change. 

This is the second year Calkins and Williams have participated in the science field day at North St. Francois County Primary School. For more information, contact Jody Rowland, MAC science instructor, at (573) 518-3824.

Mineral Area College • 5270 Flat River Road • P.O. Box 1000 • Park Hills, MO 63601 • (573)431-4593