As a young child, I can recall countless hours roaming through the forest near my childhood home. Within these woods I became a surveyor, a voyager, an adventurer and an explorer. The curiosity of the world around me had a way of energizing my imagination. Maybe it was the Boy Scout in me or maybe it was the budding scientist who questioned what lie beyond my first sight. It is this inquisitiveness of wonder which fuels a child’s interest in the excitement of science.
The ever changing world in which we live demands the next generation of intellectual leaders to be thinkers who are inspired by a curious imagination and the art of discovery. And if you were to look within the walls of our charming schoolhouse, you would find a program where our students are provided the tools and opportunities to develop an understanding and the necessary skills in which to function productively as problem-solvers in a scientific and technological world. Furthermore, within our Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade Science program, we involve our students in a first-hand exploration and investigation where inquiry and process skills are nurtured.
The nature of our Science program involves the students making observations of the natural world, identify patterns, asking questions, finding answers and then asking more questions. Simply stated, the scientific discovery process our students engage in develops the critical thinking skills of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information. Moreover, our students are taught to look at the advancements of science through an ethical lens that bears in mind the teachings of our faith.
As an educational community who believes that a curious mind and engaged hands will bring forth bright ideas, it is only fitting that on April 20th, St. Agnes organized the first annual “Science Night”. In conjunction with the UMBC Chemistry Department, our young people took part in a hands-on, minds-on evening of learning. During this memorable event, our students discovered that “slime” is chemically created through a polymer formation of basic household items. They also learned how a tubing and funnel device can use water and dry ice to create a flow of CO2 which materializes as cold CO2 gas bubbles. Our young people also learned how to write and reveal secret messages on acid base goldenrod paper using a simple baking soda and vinegar solution. The children also encountered the concept of viscosity by analyzing the internal friction that is caused by squeezing the trigger of a water pistol. And lastly, this group of budding scientists discovered how to create colorful lava using water, food coloring and oil and how the principle of intermolecular forces explains why oil and water don’t mix. Science is everywhere. Especially in the minds of the young scholars of St. Agnes School.
A special note of gratitude to Kate Allen for all of her support she offered in helping to bring this wonderful event to the St. Agnes campus.