Science kits allow kids to experiment from home

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Rachel Tilton is your typical 7th grader at the moment, forced to do most of her learning on a laptop because of COVID-19.

The 12-year old attends Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colorado, where the classrooms are empty and the classroom supplies inaccessible.

“I think it’s going to be hard. In person, it’s just way easier to learn,” said Tilton, referring to an entire school year that could be taught online.

No one agrees more than Tilton’s science teacher Erin Mayer.

“We are a hundred percent virtual, so they don’t have access to the tools that they would normally have,” Mayer said.

Taking the classroom to the students

The 20-year teaching veteran is getting some help, though, thanks to a $5,000 national grant that allows her to purchase science kits for her students that the middle-schoolers can use at home.

“Kits available where they could do

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Family Fun: Library videos help students experiment with science at home

Science can be explosively fun – and messy.

That’s what Molly Moore is learning. Moore, an education and enrichment librarian for the Spokane County Library District, is creating weekly Science From Home videos hoping to help children and families engage in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – activities at home while many students are working remotely this fall.

At 2 p.m. Monday, she’ll post her first video showing how to crack open a watermelon using rubber bands, “a great example of potential energy being converted to kinetic energy,” she said.

Videos will be posted each Monday through Dec. 14 to the library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Upcoming experiments will look at soil erosion, lunar craters and exothermic chemical reactions. That last one, often called elephant toothpaste, combines hydrogen peroxide, food coloring and yeast to create a foaming fountain. And, it made a big mess in Moore’s backyard.

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