Experiments stir up Northbrook student excitement for science
Westmoor fifth-grader Stephen Hong shows his delight with the Silly Putty-like polymer he created during the High Touch High Tech workshop. | Courtesy of Northbrook School District 28
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:09AM
NORTHBROOK — Northbrook’s Westmoor Elementary School students became junior scientists when “High Touch High Tech” instructors visited.
Youngsters from first through fifth grade excavated for fossils, panned for gems, made clouds and even concocted a “silly putty” polymer during Dec. 19 and Dec. 20 science workshops sponsored by the school’s PTO.
Westmoor Science Teacher Cathy Firestone and the classroom teachers from each grade level selected age-appropriate experiments covering concepts from biology, chemistry, physics and earth science.
Then, fifth graders combined several substances to make a polymer that behaves like silly putty.
Second graders separated soil into its parts and had the opportunity to touch earthworms, while fourth graders made clouds out of dry ice.
“We hope that the experiences excite the children and inspire some future scientists,” said Deborah Phadnis, Westmoor PTO’s vice president of programs.
“The children were able to work together in small groups, and they were learning by touching and feeling and doing.”
The Westmoor PTO sponsors three or four enrichment programs every year. Students might learn more about a topic from social studies, science, language arts, or another subject area.
Some of the programs feature performances, such as a dramatization of Thomas Edison’s life and accomplishments, while other activities are more hands-on, Phadnis explained.
High Touch High Tech is a company that provides “fun, interactive, hands-on science and nature experiences,” according to its website.
The company’s goal is to expose children at an early age to the amazing world of science and nature by providing innovative, educational, hands-on programs that are presented in a fun manner, the website stated.
The science company also hopes to nurture children’s budding minds and stimulate their imagination and curiosity.