Elementary students from Stephens College Children’s School had a chance to get a close-up look at germs on Friday using microscopes in the science labs at Pillsbury Science Center.
The hour-long exercise was part of the American Chemical Society’s Science Coach program, which lets college-level science professors team up with elementary schools to provide more in-depth science lessons. Stephens received a grant last semester to fund the partnership.
Second- through fifth-graders were tasked with viewing and drawing various bacteria such as e-coli, and Walker explained what ailments each caused.
Friday was the second time the class has visited the labs and “excitement was high,” SCCS elementary teacher Elizabeth Walker said. “They were looking forward to it. It brings a new level of excitement about science—and for students who wouldn’t normally be interested in science, as well.”
As part of the activities, students also saw first-hand just how quickly germs can spread. Students each got a bag of flour, with one bag laced with glow-in-the-dark powder. After just a few handshakes around the room, most students had acquired the powder.
The exchange between the science department and the elementary school benefits those studying education, as well. Kelsey Whitten, a senior education major, had a chance to see how to teach younger children using college-level equipment.
“That’s the beauty of having” the children’s school “on campus,” she said. “There’s so much cool stuff you can do that you couldn’t if it wasn’t here.”
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