By Samiksha Komatireddy and Sherry Xu
OC Science volunteers were all smiles at the third annual Santiago Science and Engineering Family Night on Thursday, September 28, at the Santiago K-8 School. Excited to carry out the various experiments they had planned for the STEM event, they enthusiastically greeted students and their families as they entered the activity rooms.
Experiments such as the “Make Your Own Slime” lab were a huge success. The whole classroom was packed with students whose fingers were covered with sticky, neon and pastel-colored slime.
In the activity “Lava Lamps,” kids learned about density. The kids chose what colors they wanted their lava lamp to be, and after pouring in a few drops of food coloring, were given an Alka-Seltzer tablet. When dropped into the lamp, the colors started to spread, and the water and oil mix began to bubble. The room filled with excitement as all the kids stared at their bubbling lava lamps in amazement.
“I think they left today knowing more than they did when they came here, because from the expressions I saw on their faces, many of them were awestruck,” OC Science Co-Vice President of Communications and Woodbridge High School senior Atharva Apte said. “I enjoy seeing kids’ expressions change during experiments. It tells me that they are enjoying their time doing the experiment.”
In the “Strawberry DNA Extraction” activity, kids were able to learn about DNA and see it for themselves. After completing the detailed procedure and finally seeing the DNA unravel from the strawberry liquid, they were thrilled, touching and closely examining the fluffy white blobs of strawberry DNA.
“I had a lot of fun today,” Santiago K-8 School second grader Clarissa Cazles said. “I learned a lot more about science today than I usually do at school.”
Parents also expressed appreciation for the activities organized by OC Science. “They had hands on experiments, which meant they actually had to do the experiments themselves and look at how everything works,” Elizabeth Cazles, parent of Clarissa Cazles, said. “I liked how I was able to share my time today with my daughter in her learning of science and I got to see how happy she was which made me very satisfied and happy as well.”
Other activities that OC Science volunteers helped out at included “Elephant Toothpaste” and robotics demos at Santiago School’s new STEAM lab.
To learn more about OC Science’s monthly fun nights or OC Science in general, please vist ocscience.org