Children had their hands covered in slime and their eyes filled with wonder at the Science Night hosted by Knox College Chemistry Club at Katherine Nielson Elementary School. The event, a part of the club’s yearly service, was held on Thursday, Feb. 8 and went from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Chemistry Club had a variety of stations with the following activities: slime-making, volcanic explosions and estimation games. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, TKS asked the little scientists their thoughts on love, candy and cards.
Janie, a timid second grader, was one of the students to attend the science night. She kneaded slime in anticipation for it to reach a solidified form. The activity taught kids about tactile and sensory observation. She reported that the slime activity was her favorite. When asked what her favorite part of Valentine’s Day was, she responded that it was all the candy she gets. She reported that Kit Kat’s were her favorite. She plans to make a card for her special valentine Ñ her family.
According to ABC News, Americans are expected to spend $1 billion on cards this Valentine’s Day and, according to CNN, 144 million cards will be exchanged.
First grader Peyton was participating in a different activity. She had just finished working at the secret message station and explained the process she had to go through to find out the message written on the brightly colored pages.
“You have to draw with yellow then you put water on it and then you see the secret message,” she said. Unlike the other children whose family members were their valentine, Peyton chose her best friend for the upcoming holiday.
8-year-old Robby was trying to guess how many balls were in a box as part of an estimation exercise during science night. When asked what his favorite subject was, he said he was unable to choose a favorite subject since he liked them all so much. He also didn’t know who his valentine was going to be.
Tackling the fifth grade, 11-year-old Sky’s favorite subject is math. The volcanic explosion experiment caught her and a large crowd of students’ interests as they counted down to its eruption, making it her favorite part of the night. Sky’s favorite part of Valentine’s Day revolves around her friends at Nielson elementary.
“[My favorite] part is being at school and passing out valentines to all my friends,” she said.
When asked about their favorite part of science night, sisters Leana and Ariana responded, “everything.” 9-year-old Ariana’s favorite subject in school is art. For her, the best part of Valentine’s Day is candy and especially the chocolate. Leana’s valentines are her mom and dad, but Ariana said she hadn’t thought about who she would choose yet. Ariana was asked if she thought her sister Leana would receive a Valentine’s Day card. She replied with a harsh “No.”
As a third grader, 8-year-old Alec finds learning math most enjoyable. Rather than choosing his whole family to be his valentine, Alec chose a very special family member: his mom. His favorite part of the holiday isn’t the candy aspect as most would expect, but giving and receiving cards.
Chemistry Club member and junior Diamond Jelani helped run the slime station. Her favorite part of science night was “seeing all the little kids really excited about all the little things we can do. This is kind of what got some of us into science so maybe this will get some of them into it,” she said. In terms of Valentine’s Day, Jelani said, “Oh, I have an exam on Wednesday so that’s what I’ll be doing that night.”
Teaching second grade at Nielson Elementary, Nicole Bruns was running the snack station where students would measure a scoop of each snack and mix them in plastic bags. For her, the best part of science night was “getting the parents into the building they don’t have the opportunity to get into the building as often as we’d like, so it’s nice that we have things like this where the parents can do something educational with their kids that they don’t always get to do,” she said.By decorating bags and exchanging cards, her class will embrace the Valentine’s Day spirit this year along with most elementary school classes.