It was a crisp, beautiful Thursday afternoon. It was a bit chilly, but all children were very excited to join in our fun, engaging hands-on science experiments by the playground. “Mom I want to do this,” said a 5th-grade girl pointing the color markers by the Color Chromatography spot. “Mom, I like this. I like science. That is my favorite subject. Can I join the program?” the girl asked her mother who was watching her daughter enjoy science, standing right beside her. “Of course, you should join us. We will be having fun with science experiments,” kindly suggested our Program Manager, Ms. Jaclyn Carmichael.
On Thursday, October 28th, Project Exploration took part in the “Lights on After School” event at Funston Elementary School in Logan Square, sponsored by Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). Logan Square is a very diverse neighborhood with a huge Hispanic population. One of the goals LSNA is pursuing is to promote a better education for Hispanic students, partnering with the neighborhood schools. Funston Elementary serves 89% of Hispanic students in Logan Square. Project Exploration has offered Sisters4Science, an after-school program designed to encourage the minority girls, such as African-American and Hispanic teenage girls, to actively participate in the STEM field. Through the “Lights on After School” event, we were able to have more girls involved in science—at least have them taste what real science is.
We had four fun, still meaningful science activities for the Funston students. Marshmallow Challenges. Color Chromatography. Slime. Pops and Cola. The students were very engaged, trying one after another. Most students wanted to make slimes twice. They loved getting their hands dirty, even their clothes. They would not mind getting their hands dirty, but having fun with science! A 7th-grade girl said, “I’m not sure if I could do this, but I want to try” as she approached to the Marshmallow Challenges activity. “You definitely want to try. I believe you can do it.” I encouraged her to try. She was very much focused in designing a house with fragile spaghetti noodles and marshmallows.
It was not even 6 o’clock, but it was getting dark outside. The students were still standing by our booth, trying to make slimes, pops and cola, and color chromatography. It was wonderful afternoon exploring science with the young students who might have not been exposed to such fun, engaging science before! We’d like to send a huge applause to Logan Square Neighborhood Association for all the amazing support!