Students say hands-on experiments make learning easier


GRAYSON, Ky. (WOWK) – Ethan Keaton is a middle school student from Lawrence County, Kentucky. He said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw how many experiments he and his classmates would get to do Friday at Ashland Community and Technical College.

“It’s just interesting how the fingerprints work and stuff,” Keaton said of one of the experiments. “You get to do a lot of hands-on stuff and not a bunch of work that you just have to write down and memorize.”
Tess Jennings is a high school student preparing for a career in STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She and other high school students are volunteering their time to teach some of the experiments, and they’re getting college credit, too.

“I tend to learn better with more hands-on stuff so I think this helps me more than sitting in a classroom,” Jennings said.

One of the things students are learning about is the human eye, so they’re dissecting cows eyes because they are similar to humans. Students learned about the vitreous humor which is what gives eyeballs their shape.

That’s just one example of all the experiments being conducted. Project coordinator Mia Brown says students are being exposed to more than 100 new careers in science and technology.

“Showing them that there is more out there,” Brown said. “There are areas we haven’t even tapped into and they could be that next one to make that change.”

Brown says there’s a scientist in all of us. She says humans are problem-solvers and in the fast-changing, complex world we live in, this prepares the future problem-solvers, today.

Organizers say they’ve been keeping track of how the students feel about science. They say in two years they’ve raised interest in STEM programs by 33 percent. Friday’s event at ACTC was thanks, in part, to a nearly $200,000 grant from American Electric Power.

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