COSI puts students through their paces

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ironton Elementary School student Israel Sudderth was cooking up a storm Tuesday morning. But while he did everything right as far as following the recipes, nothing he made turned out all that appetizing.

That’s because Israel was playing scientist, not chef, all thanks to a visit from the outreach program of the Columbus-based Center of Science and Industry.

“This is fun. Science is real cool to me,” the young student said after mixing together the right amount of chemicals to create some gooey, gloppy slime.

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Next he tried his hand at coming up with a stick that could glow in the dark by combining three parts water to one part special ingredient. The result left him speechless.

Once a year COSI comes to the Ironton school to let children explore the world of the scientist in fun and imaginative ways. This time Dow Chemical underwrote the visit and members of Ironton High’s science club with Linda Gagai, club sponsor, volunteered to show the children how to do the experiments.

“This allows students the ability to work with different chemical experiments,” Derek Bringardner from COSI’s outreach said. “This is designed to give kids more experience and get them excited about science. The kids can explore. The kids can get into it.”

About a half-dozen separate stations were set up in the school gym where science club students showed what ordinary household substances looked under a microscope; how to identify them without any added help like labels; and how to tell if the substances were an acid or a base.

“This is kind of like CSI,” Kaitlyn Hackworth, a science club volunteer, said. “This is how scientists get to learn things without really knowing what the substance is.”

As fourth grader Zoe Bass took turns checking what flour, salt and sugar looked like in microscopic form, she summed up the morning.

“I really think this is awesome,” she said.