Bobcats explore the world of science

by Juliana Giraldo

Sea & Touch: A student organizes and observes the organs and body parts of dissected squids and perch fish on the marine biology booth. Along with marine biology, many other classes under the science department joined together to offer students the opportunity to explore the wonders of science. Photo by Yaritza Rivero

In 2011, the UNESCO established World Science Day on Nov. 10 to highlight the importance of systematic knowledge and the need of engagement for emerging issues. To further engage young individuals in celebrating the worldwide day, adults organize educational, yet entertaining, events in public areas.

National Science Day was an event that took place on Nov. 9 in the school courtyard during both A and B lunches. The event, which was hosted by NHS Advisor Sarah Zorn and the science department teachers, presented to spread the message and displayed the importance of science used in people’s daily lives. 

“This has always been something that has interested me. Last year, I wanted to have an Earth Day celebration including the science department and the campus.  Science Day encompasses much more than Earth Day, and we were able to come up with activities that were all science related,” Zorn said.

Teachers set up booths that featured informational boards and entertaining simulations, such as “Magnetic Goo” and “DIY Ice”that allowed students to learn about and gain hands-on experience with scientific phenomena. Students were provided a wide range of activities to take part in, like creating ice cream with ice and simple ingredients or jumping up into the air to see how high one can go. 

“That’s why I love being a science teacher, getting people engaged in showing them why science matters and how science can extend into everyday life. People typically eat ice cream, and we had a board that talked about how ice cream is related to science and how it all connects,” said Biology and AP Environmental teacher Jennifer McAndrew.

One of the featured booths was “Beat the Clock,” a minute-long challenge to transfer 1.3 gallons of water from one bucket into another by using a measuring cup. The game wanted to teach students the fact that the human heart pumps about 1.3 gallons of blood every minute through the body system.

“As a biologist, I wanted to partake in the fun part of science with the students. At this event, we played a number of games that simulated how science works in our bodies and in the environment,” said Anatomy & Physiology teacher Javier Foronda.

Aside from teacher participation, students and clubs gathered together to help their fellow Bobcats see and experience the varied fields that lie within the study of science. Each of the clubs and science department classes were able to get creative in making interactive presentations that highlighted the specific subject they were taught on a regular basis. Students volunteered to help their science teacher in providing schoolmates the necessary supplies needed to carry out the science activities.

“I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to show people that everything around us uses science and people may not always realize that. So, by volunteering I really wanted to show how without science we wouldn’t have even the simplest things like ice cream,” said junior Lauren Siegman.

The event had many students participate and ponder about the how, what, when, where, and why of the scientific marvels that were featured through the activities and games. Teachers hope that students walked away on that day realizing that science is all around them, not just in textbooks and labs, and were given the chance to explore STEM careers. After having a successful first year, the science department and its teachers are looking forward in continuing National Science Day to be an annual tradition for the school.

“I hope that students were inspired and became curious about the many things one can learn about science. Who knows – we might have planted a seed for the next orthopedic doctor, the next Tesla, the next Steven Hawkins, or the next Nobel Prize winner,” Foronda said.

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