The Wild, Wonderful World Of WORMS

By BEN KLEIN

bklein@timesobserver.com

There were worms.

There were lots of worms.

There were giggles and hesitant looks.

And, there was learning.

Nearly 200 children from four different day care providers spent the day learning about the environment with the Carnegie Science Center at the YMCA on Thursday.

Carnegie Science Center’s Science on the Road Educational Outreach brought Captain Green’s Time Machine to Warren for the first time on Thursday so children could do hands on activities and experiments to learn about environmental science.

“This is our first time here, we’re having a wonderful time. Things are going very well,” Carnegie Science Center Staff Educator Beth Colbert said.

Children from the YMCA Camp Onyahsa, Jefferson DeFrees, Cobham Youth Day Camp and the Rouse Home Daycare spent the morning visiting different science stations.

Colbert trained volunteers from the local day care centers to run different stations for the children over two sessions. Younger children up to second grade were in the morning session and older students up to seventh-grade were in the afternoon.

“We want to provide students with different kinds of opportunities, to have more exposure to science. Science theories and science concepts and this enables them to not only hear something in the assembly but also to have the hands on experiences,” Colbert said.

Children were able to visit many other stations, including challenging the children to build a sculpture using biodegradable packaging to learn how it breaks down in the rain. A windpower station allowed students to create their own windturbine and test it in front of a fan in the YMCA’s gym. Another station showed students how solar power works with electronic racing cars with a solar panel on top of that the students would power with a flashlight to simulate the light of the sun.

“I think they’re having a great time,” Kris Conn, YMCA director of child care said. “They seem to be loving it.”