In the midst of a heat wave, Science in the Summer continues to spark young minds! For over thirty years, the program has demystified the sciences with free, hands-on learning for students entering 2nd-6th grades, all the while encouraging them to consider careers in the sciences.
The 2019 theme, The Science of Me, allows kids to explore the biological processes we all share and the distinctive elements that make each individual unique. Over the course of four hours, students investigate the digestive and circulatory systems, the blueprint in our cells, and the magic and mischief of sensory perception. Young scientists-in-training are given the opportunity to examine a preserved animal heart, separate the DNA of wheat germ, and test the efficacy of their saliva. After all, scientists are not afraid to get messy—with the proper protective gear, of course!
Participants in the program thus far have marveled at their own differences in perception—rabbit or duck? Laurel or Yanny? They’ve listened to the rattle of unidentified objects inside a sealed box and shared ideas about what lay within. They’ve probed the depths of a sheep’s heart with gloved fingers and diagnosed maladies by examining simulated blood. Some were cautious, measured, and methodical, while others dived right in. But each one shared an essential curiosity about what humans are made of and how they work. And many will be affected by the experience long after the last centrifuge has stopped spinning and the smell of formaldehyde no longer lingers. As one parent from the Oak Lane Library commented, "My daughter … is still talking about her creepy, yet fun experience with the sheep heart! Upon her program completion she proudly displayed her certificate and is more enthusiastic than ever about science!"
Sponsored by GSK and administered by the Franklin Institute, Science in the Summer will be hosted by 29 Free Library locations by the end of the season.
Interested in learning more? Visit the Franklin Institute or check out a related-book from your local neighborhood library!