Youngsters Discover The World Of Science
During the recent Science in the Summer program at the Chester Springs Library, students, including Kate Nakahara, looked at cells under a microscope and then drew them in their workbooks.
By Francine Fulton
Even though school is not in session, a lot of learning is taking place at libraries throughout Chester County as part of the Science in the Summer program.
Science in the Summer is comprised of 45-minute classes given over the course of four days. The class is offered to children in two age groups - those entering second and third grades, and those entering fourth through sixth grades.
The Chester Springs Library recently offered the course, where youngsters were introduced to the world of bioscience by instructor Joe Korzec, a teacher in the Rose Tree Media School District.
During the hands-on learning classes, students used microscopes and magnifying glasses to examine plant and animal cells to discover how they are similar and different. The young biologists also made their own slides to observe microscopic animals.
"We learned every part of the microscope, and (the students learned that) when you use a microscope, you make things look much larger by magnifying the image," Korzec said. They looked at the objective lens, which made the image look 40 times as large. They focused on one part of (the image)."
On the first day of class, the students looked at inanimate objects under the microscope, including feathers, burlap, satin, silk, cotton, and different types of newsprint. They also drew the images they saw in their workbooks.
During the next day of class, the students looked at amoebas, paramecium and other microscopic organisms that were alive. They learned to make wet mounts of the objects to view under the microscope, using slides and adding water.
To make the slides, Korzec instructed the students to make a "sandwich," by first choosing a glass slide, adding two drops of water and a small section of a plant, and then completing the sandwich by adding a cover slip.
The slide was then placed under the microscope for viewing. "Focus on the green (cells)," Korzec told the students. "The chloroplasts are what give the plant its color."
Students also learned about bacteria and germs, and they were asked to color a drawing of a young man washing his hands. "The best way to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands several times a day," Korzec told the students.
During one of the sessions, the children studied the parts of a flower. "We looked at the pistils and the stamens and petals," Korzec said. "We looked at cell structure."
Korzec said that he tailored the lessons to each age group, emphasizing that bioscience is the study of life science. "You can be a cell biologist, an animal biologist or a botanist - they all deal with different types of life," he said.
Korzec said that the Science in the Summer program is very popular because of its use of hands-on activities. "There is a waiting list (for the program) at many (of the libraries)," he said. "(The students) are using equipment that professionals use, and that makes them feel like a scientist."
This is the 25th anniversary of GlaxoSmithKline's Science in the Summer program. Over 100,000 students from the greater Philadelphia region have participated in the program since its inception. For more information, interested readers may visit www.scienceinthesummer.com.
Downingtown-Exton Community Courier - 07/20/2011
Irene Muson (left) and Regina Weiss learned to use the microscope during the Science in the Summer program offered recently at the Chester Springs Library.