Published: 22.06.2022 12:53:58 h
Modified: 22.06.2022, 12:53:39 h
On the board behind the Children’s Librarian Bettielu Hill is a set of equations that would not be inappropriate in a high school chemistry classroom.
But Hill – known as “Mrs. Boo “- does not teach high school students. It has an audience of primary schools. Despite some of the advanced concepts presented, children catch on. This is because Hill teaches them using something they understand – Legos.
Each element is assigned a color and children from the Wilton Public Science Club and the Gregg Free Library can build chemical compounds with Lego. They build the structures for sodium bicarbonate – also known as baking soda – and acetic acid, better known as vinegar.
She then makes them use the same Lego to create the compounds created by mixing baking soda and vinegar.
It’s a simple way to go through an advanced concept, Hill explained, that nothing is created or destroyed, it’s just transformed.
“I love science and I know a lot of child-friendly science experiments,” Hill said. “Kids are really excited and excited to learn something new and play with Lego while they do it. If I can explain these basic principles, that’s all they need to know at this point. “
Of course, once the concept is taught, it is time to put it into practice.
Hill has already prepared some classics so that children can see the results of a chemical reaction on their own. Balloons with baking soda inside are attached to the open tops of vinegar bottles inside. When outdoors, children can pour baking soda into the bottle and watch the resulting carbon dioxide inflate the balloon.
Then a lucky volunteer, Evan Knight, can pour a pile of 10 Mentos into a diet car bottle to make a 10-foot geyser with soda.
Don’t worry, Hill assures his class – another volunteer can try it at another meeting with a bottle of ordinary car so they can see if the added sugar has a difference in spray height.
Kara Nixon from Lindborough was one of the parents who brought their children to the science club. Her daughter, Amelia, had heard about the club through a leaflet sent home with students from Florence Rideout Elementary School, and she was interested in checking it out.
“I think we’ll be back,” Nixon said after helping his daughter with the baking soda and vinegar experiment. “She loves science and I think doing such experiments with other children her age is great because she has a shared interest in them.”
And, Nixon said, her daughter has made a new friend, Kinley Goody of Wilton, with whom she has partnered in their experiments. Although the girls go to the same school, they are in different classes and have not met before.
Malison Knight of Wilton, Evan’s mother, said the fact that the club was a mixed age is a plus, as Evan is an only child and clubs like this are a way for him to interact with other students outside his class.
“We’re always trying to find different ways to keep him engaged,” Knight said.
At the end of the club, Hill offers library book suggestions for students to conduct their own experiments with common kitchen or household items to continue their studies until the next meeting.
The Science Club is scheduled to meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 4:00 PM at the Wilton Collaborative Space, except in August, when the club will not meet. The next meeting is on July 19 at 4 pm and Hill hopes the program will continue indefinitely.
The lessons are suitable for children from first to fifth grade. Reservations are required as places are limited. Parents interested in enrolling their child can contact Hill at the Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library at 603-654-2581.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or [email protected] She is on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.