Buzzing kazoos and jumping sugar: OSU Extension makes science fun at R.C. Waters

Jan 30, 2024 | Featured, Schools | 0 comments

Ottawa County 4-H Program Assistant, Amy Michaels, jokes with students at R.C. Waters as she teaches them how to make kazoos. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

The R.C. Waters Elementary School gym got really loud with science on Jan. 26. Thanks to staff from OSU Extension, students made and played kazoos and watched their screams move sugar sprinkles until the gym was a happy cacophony.

OSU Extension staff was at the school to host science workshops for students in kindergarten through third grade. The students learned about sound waves, water density, light and coding. At one station, the students tightly bound plastic wrap over a cup, sprinkled sugar on the top, and talked – or in most cases screamed – loudly to watch how soundwaves make the sugar move. The unexpected result they discovered? Screaming at sugar also makes kids giggle.

Students play handmade kazoos. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Everything was fun,” said second grader, Brooks Poor. “I learned to make a kazoo, and I also learned about water density.”

The students had a lesson in coding when they programmed a toy car to react to different colored mats. As the car drove over a mat, it turned according to how it was programmed, resulting in kids scrambling to rearrange the mats for more excitement.

“The coding was really fun,” said second grader, Lincoln Thiel.

Students react to a rainbow created in a test tube during a water density lesson taught by OSU Extension staff at R.C. Waters. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Ottawa County 4-H Program Assistant, Amy Michaels, said the staff enjoys visiting R.C. Waters.

“I do a lot of school programs at R.C. Waters, and the school reached out to (4-H Youth Development Educator) Molly Avers and asked her to do an all-day program,” Michaels said.

Last year, Michaels brought the “ChickQuest” program to R.C. Waters so students could learn about life cycles. She delivered two dozen eggs and an incubator and got the kids excited about what to expect. Before long, they had chicks to care for.

“The teachers love our programs. Last year, we got a lot of great feedback,” Michaels said. “We really partner with R.C. Waters a lot. They’re happy we can come and make science fun.”

Sugar sprinkles jump off a cup in reaction to a student’s screams. The students were learning how to see sound. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

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