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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Canyon View students explore science, art hands-on during first showcase

Aug 02, 2022 10:30AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Hundreds of families packed Canyon View Elementary for their first art and science showcase, a night jam-packed with interactive activities and demonstrations.

“This science night is accessible to all students, kindergarten through 12th grade and younger,” fourth-grade teacher Sean Thorpe said, who organized the event. “It’s more hands-on so rather than just coming and watching what other people have done for science, they get to come do the science themselves. They get to experience it, with friends and families. So, it's an opportunity for the community to get together, strengthen community bonds with the school and have fun with their families.”

That’s what the Hardy family was doing as parents Justin and Christina were helping their kids Tristin, Brynleigh, Lyla and Micah with making their own glowsticks.

There were more than 20 different activities ranging from marble tracks to a fossil dig, from making plarn (plastic yarn) to taking in art—as well as learning about chemistry and sipping it too with root beer floats.

“We have a lot of opportunities for kids to do a lot of different STEM activities, to try different types of sciences to see what sparks their interest,” Thorpe said, adding that there were some geared for different age levels as well. “We're supposed to have this night in January, but it got postponed because of a COVID spike. It's nice now because we've been able to utilize some outside space as well, which we wouldn't have been able to do in January. I think the biggest thing is just making sure we had enough supplies and everything. We've just had an amazing turnout of volunteers.”

In addition to the PTA and parent volunteers, student leaders from Brighton and Hillcrest high schools volunteered as well as community members. Many of them ran stations from electricity or energy to air pressure and fizz rockets. There was a station on paleontology and another on making and writing with invisible ink.

Brighton junior class president-elect Luke Barlow was helping Canyon View students with DIY Fossils.

“I went to this elementary, so it’s fun to see some of the old traditions at the school and now help kids with this new one,” he said.

Erin Lee and Skylar Barbour were at a station to extract DNA from strawberries.

“It’s kind of cool how it can foam up with the alcohol,” Erin said.

Polina Smith has a science background, so she volunteered.

“What’s a better way for students to learn than to explore and have a chance to do some of these experiments, some using household products,” she said.

One of the crowd favorites was a polymer demonstration, which Thorpe and others conducted before a jam-packed kiva.

Parent Melissa White took her first-grader Ellie, her 4-year-old Lucas and 2-year-old Calvin to witness the combining of two different liquids in a trash can.

“They were stirring with yardsticks for about one minute, then it rose up to 6 feet,” she said. “Everyone was blown away by that reaction. It was very cool and so much fun.”

Thorpe knew it would be something that would be memorable.

“That was really fun,” he said. “I wish I could have every student do it. So, I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right and do it big.”

White’s family also liked checking out the neon paint with black lights and wanted to dissect squids.

That’s where kindergartner Alex Kobold was, checking out a squid she had cut open.

“This is so much fun,” she said. “I didn’t expect all this goop.”

As her dad, Kyle, and grandma, Patty Bolhuis, were trying to pry her away to try other experiments—she already had checked out Sunshine in a Bag and The Senses, Alex wanted to stay.

“I think this night has given students an appreciation and love for science,” Kyle Kobold said. “And maybe for my daughter, the inspiration to be a scientist or engineer.”