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Sandy Journal

Rocket science comes to Park Lane STEM Night

Nov 26, 2018 01:08PM ● By Julie Slama

First-grader Bailee Higgs stacks dry ice bubbles during Park Lane’s STEM night. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

About a hundred families tried their hands at balloon rockets, milk tray colors, balancing robots and other activities that involved science, technology, engineering and math as part of Park Lane Elementary’s second annual STEM night.

“There are some cool ways families can learn how to implement science and math in their studies and look into careers and learn how science is incorporated in the real world,” Principal Justin Jeffries said. “Science is essential to their lives.”

With a couple parents designing the six activities and PTA volunteers helping to staff stations, families could try all of them as a time to bond and explore the STEM field.

“My 8-year-old wanted to come,” parent Derron Fairbanks said about his son, Calvin. “STEM has important subjects and there is a desire for students to gain an interest in science and to learn.”

Rachel Bagley was with her boys, kindergartner Russell and second-grader Jackson as they examined dish soap breaking up fat in a bowl of milk.

“The fat bounced off everything and the molecules broke up,” she said. “We do a lot of science at home, but this encourages a lot of people in the community to come do science. It’s not just geeks in the basement or in the lab, but science is for everyone.”

Fourth-grade triplets Nicholas, Andrew and Parker Sims took turns working together to stack cups with bungee cords during Park Lane’s STEM night. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

 Joel and Emily Jensen also tried the milk bowls with their kindergartner Sawyer and his 2-year-old sister, Hazel.

“He loves science and we do experiments at home,” Emily Jensen said about her son. “He talks about becoming a scientist.”

However, when asked, Sawyer said he wants to become a “policeman.”

Fourth-grade triplets Nicholas, Andrew and Parker Sims were working together to stack cups with bungee cords.

“They love science,” said their mother, Lisa,. “We go to the planetarium, the natural history museum and places all the time. They’re my little nerdlings.”

Nicholas, who liked the Angry Bird slingshot best, said he learned if you hit the bottom of the cardboard boxes with the stuffed bird “it works best and I can watch the whole pile tumble over.”

His brother, Andrew, liked the milk bowl experiment.

“When you add the soap into the milk and food color, it just rocketed away,” he said. “It was a chemical reaction. Maybe I should ask why or look it up so I know why.”

Parker continued to stack cups after his brothers took a break and was excited to create a stacking record for the evening with his friend, Preston.

First-grader Bailee Higgs tried out stacking bubbles with dry ice. 

“It’s fun,” she said.

Her dad, Buck, said what she did that night, as bubbles stack around and she pops them, will translate later as she learns more about science.

“She can learn that with little effort, it can result in simple things that are incredible,” he said. “Science can do lots of things.”

Aaron Sprague was with his second-grader, Henrik, testing balloon rockets when they thought of the secret to making the balloon travel quickly in a straight line when it was let go.

“You put tape in the middle of the balloon,” Henrik said, as he and his father set a record for their balloon rocket.

Sprague said STEM Night is a fun way to do fun experiments in a safe environment and he plans to try some additional experiments with his son at home.

Henrik, who wants to be a geologist, said the water blob bottles were the most fun he had tried thus far.

“You learn how gas rises and floats to the surface,” Henrik said. “I’m here because I want to learn more.”