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All about the science

Club for elementary students offers unique learning opportunity at Kendall Young Library

October 3, 2012
Jim Krajewski ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

After 15 minutes of experimentation and broken cups, 14 members of the Kendall Young Library science club created something that children's librarian and assistant director Linda Brown said they could take home to drive their parents crazy. That was met by cheering from the kids.

On Tuesday, Brown instructed the club members, which range from second to fifth grade, to attach a string and paper clip to a paper or plastic cup and then slide a wet cloth down the length of the string. This created a sound that the kids compared to a chicken or turkey. Brown said this kind of hands-on learning is beneficial to club members.

"It's worked out really good because I think adding science makes learning fun," Brown said. "Mixing things and trying different things out, especially the messiest, gooiest things to do is what kids love."

Article Photos

Librarian Linda Brown demonstrates how vibrations create sound from a string, a paper clip, a small drinking cup and a wet cloth on Tuesday at the Kendall Young Library. Brown also read to students, played games, watched a video and let students take a book home with them to read.

Club members will be treated to an especially gooey afternoon next week when Brown will be instructing them on how to create green slime from simple ingredients. Glue, food coloring and borax powder will coagulate almost instantly into a green ooze when mixed, according to Brown.

However, getting the chance to get your hands into a slimy substance is not the entire experience. Brown said she first asks club members if they know why these projects do what they do.

After soliciting a correct answer from one of the club members, she opens up the floor and lets other members expound on the subject. Members correctly inferred that the avian sound projected from the cup is made from vibrations along the string as the cloth passes over it being amplified by the attached cup, and that the plastic cup creates more noise because of its material.

"If they just learn to mix and try new things, like we did today with the plastic and paper cups, just trying to figure those things out makes their little brain work harder, and it opens them up to more things," Brown said.

The idea for the science club, which is now in its third year, came from a workshop that Brown attended. She said another librarian found that kids were very interested in books that included science topics.

Brown reads an excerpt from a book to the club to start off their meetings. Among the books chosen was the "Time Warp Trio" series by Jon Scieszka. Members are also encouraged to take a book home with them after the meeting. Brown said she tries to pick books that kids might not notice to expose them to more things.

The club also hosted some games and a short cartoon. The science club will meet next on Oct. 9 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and will then go on a two week break before starting back up on Oct. 30. No sign up is required to be a part of the science club.



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