San Onofre School’s media center became a hub of excitement and science inquiry during the annual Exploratorium on January 22. Now in its 16th year, the event featured eighth grade students teaching, demonstrating and engaging third through sixth graders and parent visitors. With an emphasis on interactive science workstations, the hands-on experience showcased physical science concepts while incorporating both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
Each presenter was required to research a topic, conduct pre-test experiments with supporting data, document revisions and present findings in a project notebook along with an informative display. Technology support was evident in Rachel Jones amusement park physics lesson. Along with her model roller coaster, Rachel utilized a web site allowing participants to construct a virtual roller coaster to test their comprehension. Kevin Huffman demonstrated forces and motion with his RC car accompanied by an iPad application to reinforce key concepts. Students were flocking to Annika Rivera’s “Polymer Palace” to take advantage of the diaper dissection and make simple polymers. A chromatography lesson took on a practical application as Andrew Martin had students solve a mystery note problem by comparing ink brands. Students were also able to test their “power potential” at Sebastian Aguilar’s human powered hand battery station. Other interactive stations included pulleys, levers, magnetic fields, light reflection, and a Van de Graaff generator, to name a few.
A number of seventh grade students accepted an invitation to present as well, and presented lessons related to their life science curriculum; a cow heart dissection, bacteria growth, reaction time and microscopic protozoan examinations.
Funding for this program was supported though a grant from the Camp Pendleton Officer’s Spouses Club.
Congratulations to our excellent presenters and their amazing teacher, Mr. Bryan Gunner!