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Kids learn about sustainability through mobile science center experiments

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — Some of us are visual learners, and some of us are hands-on learners. The students in “ACCESS,” an accelerated learning program, can do both.

Close to 50 students in Boyd County learned about the earth sciences, specifically agriculture, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. They got to participate in an interesting experiment, where they would turn a liquid state of matter into a solid state of matter.

“A lot of students knew some of the vocabulary,” said Lisa Wiler, a teacher and Program Coordinator for Gifted and Talented Students. “They actually got to put their hands to work and make it.”

Kids used simple ingredients for their experiment: corn starch, corn oil, water, and food coloring. They then put the mix in a zip-lock bag, popped them in the microwave, and then let the mix cool off before rolling it into a round shape to create a bouncy ball.

Ten hours later, the bouncy balls should cure, and then it’ll be up to the students to see which one bounces the highest.

“I think mine will bounce the highest because mine feels the best right now,” said Taryn Meade, a student.

It was a little science experiment put on by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Mobile Science Activity Center. It was a lesson extending beyond the classroom to a business at the heart of the Bluegrass State: agriculture.

“Our students in this area really don’t know much about agriculture,” Wiler said. “They think, ‘okay, I’m growing my crops in the garden.'”

And it’s a lesson that’s paying off.

“Say we put this bouncy ball in a landfill. It will degrade, and it will help the environment more,” Meade said about what she learned. “It’s renewable [energy], because corn can grow back every single year.”

“They’re learning about what’s better for the environment, sustainability, renewable [energy, and] a new way of making plastic,” said Wiler.

A lesson for today’s generation to be environmentally conscious and do their part to preserve mother earth.

There’s a total of three mobile units that service the state of Kentucky. Teachers tell us this is the first time it has stopped in Boyd County.

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