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Daniel Boone High School hosted a parent’s science laboratory recently, as a way to let parents see what their kids do in science class every day. But there was something a little bit different about this science night – the science labs were taught by the students themselves.
About 130 parents and 90 students took part in the evening, which had the parents traveling from room to room at the high school, taking part in labs and demonstrations that were led by their children. It was the first annual Parent’s Science Laboratory Night.
The Science Night was the idea of physics teacher Shannon W. Helzer, and was carried out with the help of DBHS faculty. Daniel Boone has received several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grants from Met-Ed, and community education is part of the requirements for receiving the grants. Helzer said the Science Night is part of that community education.
“The kids have done an amazing job,” Helzer said. “Some of the students were nervous leading up to the event, but they have done just an awesome job.”
For the parents, there were lots of smiles and comments about how much fin the event was and how proud they were of their children. Participants in the Biology labs and demonstrations had the chance to participate in or observe cat and rat dissections.
In the Forensics lab, participants had a chance to learn about fingerprints and blood spatter analysis. Regina Richey made a fingerprint while her husband Lou watched. “This is just really neat,” she said.
In the Physics lab, participants saw demonstrations of momentum and projectile motion; while in the Electricity and Magnetism, some participants received minor shocks as they were used to briefly illuminate light bulbs.
Every 15 minutes throughout the two hour event Jan 30, Room C2 was packed for the latest Chemistry demonstration: flame tests, combustion of magnesium, creating an alloy and synthesis of table salt and hydrogen gas.
And the Alternative Energy lab featured the school’s prototype Algae Bio Reactor. Constructed by students, the reactor will eventually lead to the production of diesel fuel from algae. One of the STEM grants from Met-Ed was given to Daniel Boone for the Biodiesel project, according to Karen Baxter, Met-Ed External Affairs Manager.
“Daniel Boone received a total of three STEM grants this year, more than any school in Berks County or the state,” Baxter said. “We’re so excited to see so many people here.” She said that she was not aware of any other school doing anything comparable.
Helzer said he had received a lot of good feedback about the event from parents and students.