Central Hosts Elementary School for Day of Science


Liza Elliott/San Jacinto Times

Local students experiment with lipgloss while on a field trip to San Jac.

Mystery and excitement permeated the air at San Jacinto College Nov. 13 when the fourth grade class of Genoa Elementary visited the Central campus for a day of science and experimentation.

According to the head of Genoa’s science department, Steven Sawyer, “the timing for this visit is great for the kids,” noting the day’s events will help the children generate ideas for their projects as part of the school’s upcoming science fair.

Genoa students crowded the two science labs as San Jac volunteers manned each station, hosting experiments that ranged from making lip gloss to heating designed shrink wrap, or Shrinky Dinks. The children’s excitement grew as each new experiment station showed to be more challenging than the last.

Sawyer said the children’s participation helps them develop a better understanding of science.

“The lab experiments are much more interesting than opening a book to read a question. We hope to inspire them to a science career,” he said.

Lab supervisor Ruben Ramirez looked the part of the mad scientist with a tie-dyed lab coat, but on the contrary, was the voice of order.

“Keeping the flow of all the science experiments and moving the children along to participate in every one (station) is not easy,” Ramirez said.

Similarly, third-year volunteer Steven Gandara said despite the hard work, the day is enjoyable and moves quickly adding, “It’s really cool to see the kids get excited about how experiments work.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Genoa Elementary Robotics Club, Patricia Fansaca, is in her second year chaperoning the trip and said she and her colleagues work to build the students’ enthusiasm in advance of the visit.

“Friday brings everything alive for these children,” Fansaca said. “We pump them up for this day. Mr. Sawyer is the science guy that just gets them excited about science as a whole.”

Currently, the children are learning about physics and energy states of matter in their science classes, Sawyer noted, and the visit complements their classroom activities.

“They find these experiments amazing,” he said. “It’s not just about watching. It’s hands on.”