Shawnee State University’s Derek Jones teaching CLC kids the basics of chemistry
By Joseph Pratt
Local kids in kindergarten through sixth grade have been learning the highlights of various subjects through engaging hands-on practices that are tailored to their interests for the past four weeks through the Summer Institute.
The Summer Institute is held annually by the Children’s Learning Center (CLC), an organization generally for the promotion of healthy learning to preschool students through the assistance and guidance of Shawnee State University (SSU)
Headteacher Amanda Hendrick explained that the summer institute runs four weeks and covers some of the exciting and fun aspects of learning that sometimes slips through the cracks of the regularly scheduled education year. This program is always just before the Shawnee State University Kids on Campus program, which is a similar program with a wider interest base for a larger audience.
The opportunity for more engaging lessons is important for young learners, because it gets them more interested in their education through hands-on activities and in a way that makes them want to learn.
The productivity of the program was highlighted this week when Derek Jones, SSU assistant professor of chemistry, worked with the children on a series of chemistry experiments and got them seeing the magic of science.
“The kids were amazed, because understanding how science works is almost like magic to some of them,” Hendrick said. “Anytime I have an opportunity to get my kids interested in science, I jump at it. Derek Jones worked really well with kids of all ages understand what was going on and be excited by it. It was just great.”
There were many lessons for the kids to participate in, but both parties agreed the children were most excited to make homemade ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
“It is really important, especially for some of our more reluctant learners, to get the students in a lab setting and learning science at an earlier age, because it can be overwhelming and intimidating,” Hendrick said. “The younger these kids get to experience lessons in a lab, the easier they fit into the setting later on.”
Jones said this was the first time he has worked with local kids, but looks forward to doing something like it again.
“It was a great experience for everyone, including myself,” Jones said. “Anytime you can get kids interested in science is a good thing.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.