Saturday, April 20, 2002

A day for discoveries

Kids learn wide variety of topics

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

[photo] Loveland Elementary fourth-grader Ashley Dundes (left) helps classmate Molly Gardis try on a respirator mask in a radiation safety class.
(Michael Snyder photos)
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        LOVELAND — Austin Triem didn't know that lightning is five times hotter than the sun or that a single strike can travel up to 40 miles without touching the ground.

        Or that getting a tingling feeling through your body and having your hair go straight up in the air means lightning is about to explode in the atmosphere.

        But after Friday's Discovery Day at Loveland Elementary School, the third-grader knows to stoop down and protect himself if he's ever caught in the open with no shelter.

        “I think I felt unsafe,” said Austin, 9. “I learned things to do, like crouch down.”

[photo] Fourth-grader Jack Ogilvie tries on an anti-contamination suit.
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        Retired engineer Lee Hite, who prepared the lightning program, was one of 90 professionals who presented 54 science-related programs to the 1,200 students in the primary and elementary campus. Seventy-five parents assisted. Topics included robotics, Mars, the chemistry of making bread, making soda and learning how germs spread.

        Mr. Hite brought “Sockettome” and “Miss Electra” dummies to show the students what can happen when lightning is near in a simulation in which he created small bolts.

        “This is meant to be enrichment for science,” said parent Linda Sand, who coordinated Discovery Day with Chris Thiel. “At the elementary level, they spend so much time on reading and math that we thought this might get them excited about science, to let them know there's nothing scary about it.”

        In another classroom, pharmacy supervisor Holly Petro allowed the students to make their own cream using cinnamon Altoids, glycerine and a moisturizing cream.

        “It was a little bit hard to smash the candy,” said third grader Ryan Hauenstein, 9. “Some of it flew out. I learned you had to smash it nice and easy.”

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