Stella Niagara Education Park first-grade student William Wagner treated his classmates to a visit from the Buffalo Museum of Science for his seventh birthday. William, whose actual birthday fell during the Christmas break, said, "It was my mom's idea!"
Rather than simply serve cupcakes, Angela Wagner arranged for Mary Hughes, a volunteer at the museum to present "Science Magic" to Miss Jackie Daigler's first-grade class.
Hughes showed the children several experiments that first appear to be magic, but really have a scientific principle behind them. A beaker full of water concealed tiny clear balls. Once the water was drained the balls could easily be seen. "This might be the key to an invisibility covering," Hughes told the class.
The 6- and 7-year-olds participated in a number of experiments, including spinning a bucket of water around to demonstrate centrifugal force, using a balloon to illustrate static electricity and mixing chemicals to change the color of water. Each child was given a pair of special glasses to see rainbows of refracted sunlight.
A favorite experiment with many of the children involved putting a Ping-Pong ball in a funnel and using the air pressure in a straw to keep the ball in place.
The students agreed having the Science Museum come to class was a great way to celebrate a birthday. Classmate Caleb Walker said, "Science is beautiful!"
Activities that pique interest in science go along with Stella Niagara's commitment to incorporate the STEM model (science, technology, engineering and math) into the curriculum for students in pre-K through grade 8.
For more information, call the school at 716-754-4314.
Pictured, Mary Hughes from the Buffalo Museum of Science performs "Science Magic" for the Stella Niagara Education Park first grade class.