Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on October 14, 2010. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
4-H shows kids that science can be fun
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
JACKSON – More than 500 students paired science and entertainment at the third annual 4-H National Youth Science Day on Oct. 6 at Oak Forest Elementary School in Jackson.
“This event encouraged kids to value their education and realize science is fun,” said Rocheryl Ware, Mississippi State University Extension 4-H agent in Hinds County. “They were learning while enjoying themselves. We wanted it to be hands-on for the kids so they could understand school can actually be interesting. The kids had a blast.”
The event’s theme was “4-H20,” and students participated in a variety of water-themed experiments. They created a “tornado” in a bottle of water to demonstrate air pressure effects and viewed a demonstration on how sand can be used to clean up oil spills.
“School textbooks don’t always include science activities to go along with each chapter, so we wanted to show the students some fun experiments they may not get to see otherwise,” Ware said. “We used a book 4-H purchased to guide us in developing the experiments.”
One of the most popular experiments involved water and color.
“We had a science station where the kids got to see how color does not travel at the same speed as water,” Ware said. We put the tip of a green marker and food coloring to a paper towel and then touched the paper towel to water to illustrate how the paper towel absorbed the water while the color ran away.”
Martha Jackson-Banks, MSU 4-H Youth Development specialist, said organizers also took the opportunity to teach children about the importance of caring for the environment.
“Students were taught about carbon dioxide,” Jackson said. “Understanding this helped them learn how to help reduce negative environmental impacts.”
Ware said they got the students to think by asking questions rather than just lecturing to them.
“It’s important to get the kids excited about science now, while they’re young,” Ware said. “This program is important because you never know: one of these kids could get interested in science and grow up to be a doctor who finds cures for diseases.”
4-H Science Field Day volunteers helped make the day a success. Shella Wesley, a mother of two Oak Forest Elementary students, volunteered at the event.
“I think all of the kids enjoyed it,” she said. “The teachers really got into it, too. It was a great experience for everyone involved.”
Wesley’s children, Jakobe and Jordan, attended the 4-H Science Field Day.
“It was a lot of fun,” Jakobe, a 4th grader, said. “I’m excited about next year’s field day now.”
Jakobe’s sister, Jordan, a 2nd grader, had one highlight from the day.
“My favorite experiment was the one with the tornado. It was really cool,” she said.