Monday, March 31, 2008

Vol State Science and Math Expo features hands-on fun for kids

Kids love bubbles. Bubbles may seem like a simple joy, but there is science behind the fun. Bubbleology is just one of the hands-on activities for kids at the upcoming Science and Math Expo at Volunteer State Community College. The theme this year is “The Extraordinary Science of Ordinary Things.”

“There are so many scientific principals behind even the common things in everyday life, like dish detergent and laundry soap,” said Associate Professor Parris Powers. “You can learn a lot of science doing fun activities. That’s the whole theme of the Expo.”

Slimeology will show kids how to make slime from an easy recipe of household items. Parents may wonder about the science of slime, but it teaches kids about fluids and polymers. Slime provides a way to learn about chemical changes, atomic structure, viscosity and solubility.

Flight school will investigate aerodynamic principles using paper airplanes. Kids can learn how to build the best paper airplane, while also learning about lift, stability, drag and Bernoulli’s principle.

“Were going to make our own wind tunnels to show aerodynamics at work,” said Powers.

It may sound like stuff for older children, but the Science and Math Expo is designed for all kids from kindergarten through middle school. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to tag along and take part in the fun. 50 activities will be presented by Vol State faculty and students. They’re often hands-on experiments where the children learn by doing.

“With the bubbles we’ll see which ones will last the longest,” Powers said. “We’ll look at why bubbles form a sphere and why we can see colors in bubbles.”

Many other popular activities will be returning this year, such as the reptile room, egg drop contest and science discovery room.

“Parents tell me they think the expo is really cool,” said Associate Professor Dr. Tim Farris. “They appreciate the excitement and enjoyment the kids have.”

The 7th annual Vol State Science and Math Expo will be held on Thursday, April 3 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. It will take place in the Wallace Building on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information call 615-230-3261.

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