Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2001

Eudora West Elementary students learn the wonders of science

March 8, 2001

Some Eudora students are learning about fire safety, air pressure and tornadoes with the help of Kansas University students.

Undergraduate and post-graduate students from KU visited fifth-graders last Friday. The KU students brought with them experiments to give Eudora West Elelmetary students a first-hand experience of the wonders of science. Though their message was informative, it was not without an additional purpose to sharpen their communications skills in the process.

The Go-Tech presentation helped KU physical science students focus on how they relate information to an audience.

Jennifer Powers, astrophysics grad student, said if grade-school children could understand information within a presentation, it could be understood on many levels.

"What we're trying to do is better our communication skills," Powers said. "We're taking technical ideas and breaking it down into terms they can understand."

During the presentation, KU students told the fifth-graders about preventative measures in case of a home fire, such as having fire alarms and a home escape plan. Other demonstrations included how changes in air temperature cause hot air balloons to rise and an electrical globe demonstrated how lightening strikes.

Fifth-grader Kelson Boyer said he enjoyed the presentation and thought it was informative. Fellow student Ben Wright agreed.

"I didn't know how lightning was made," said the fifth-grader. "That was pretty cool."

The EWE students were also treated to a cyclonic display on how tornadoes are formed. As the form of a five-foot tornado began to take shape, students ooh'd and ahh'd at the display.

For fifth-grader Jordan Wright, the tornado machine was the best of the presentations.

"I really liked the cyclone thing," he said.

EWE fourth-graders were given the same presentation Feb. 28. Sixth-graders will get their turn Monday.

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