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Never Too Early: Science Night Program Sells College Science to Elementary School Students

Posted Nov. 22, 2010

On the evening of Oct. 14,Kent State University's Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg, which is part of Kent State University at Geauga, teamed up with Longcoy Elementary School in Kent for a Family Science Night.

The purpose of the event was to inform the elementary school children and their families about the importance of education. According to Janice Swan, the principal of Longcoy Elementary, the theme for the night was, "I get the knowledge to go to college." By exposing children to the fun and interesting aspects of science, both Swan and the Regional Academic Center team helped make learning exciting.

Swan says, "Exposing students to science concepts may spark an interest in a child that leads to a career in medicine, engineering or research."

The event took place at Longcoy Elementary School, where Kent State professors set up various experiments, demonstrations and events for the students. Dr. Tang Ding, assistant chemistry professor, performed smoke experiments with dry ice and ethanol, among other things. Dr.Josephine Naji, assistant professor of biological sciences, performed demonstrations on human senses that included students handling anatomically correct models of human limbs. Dr. Natalie Caine-Bish, associate professor of health sciences, helped students make edible "slime" and provided information about nutrition.

Swan says the booths showcasing rocks and minerals and the five senses were also extremely popular and held the attention of students for the entire night.

Mitchell Myers, the scientific supply technician who coordinated the event, set up booths displaying information on mammals, birds, reptiles and other animals. He also dissected a pig heart, as well as a sheep brain and kidney for the students.

"Many students were eager to put a glove on and touch the dissected organs," Myers says.

Swan said that the students, as well as their parents, were extremely pleased with the event, and the elementary school is considering holding a science fair at the end of the year because the event sparked so much interest in the subject. Myers also plans to visit Longcoy's fifth grade class in May to help with a shark dissection.

"I feel fortunate to have an institution like Kent State assist us with educating our young people," Swan says.

For more information about Kent State Geauga and the Twinsburg Regional Academic Center, visit the website

By Erin Dwinnells