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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Canyon View students engaged in hands-on learning during science night

Mar 30, 2023 10:45AM ● By Julie Slama

Canyon View Elementary students learn about germination by dipping cotton balls in water and add those to seeds in containers. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

It was a night brimming with science activities.

Students could learn about air pressure, rockets, color changing, oysters and pearls, and more at Canyon View Elementary’s second annual science night.

Third-grader Carolena Bosley “loves anything science,” according to her father, Gene.

“She was bouncing off the walls, just super excited about it,” Gene Bosley said.

Carolena, and her brother, kindergartner Einar, were breaking open geodes.

“I really like rocks and biology,” she said. “Biology is fun to learn about there’s tons of animals to learn about and rocks are really cool.”

She also likes robots and has made some “crazy killer robots.”

In another room nearby, first-grader Nora Crittenden and her 3-year-old sister, Opal, were cutting worms.

“It’s kind of cool,” Nora said. “I like seeing how it’s so fascinating.”

With a dream of a career as an explorer, Nora brought her dad, Matt, to the science night.

“Nora loves science she she’s very interested in animals and is very inquisitive about certain things,” he said, adding that Opal also enjoys hands-on learning. “This gives them a chance to discover and learn.”

Throughout the engaging activities, students were learning from both experts in the field and volunteers.

Volunteer Jody Mulligan and two Brighton senior class officers, Phoebe Roberts and Olivia Martin, were helping Canyon View elementary students with seed necklaces.

Mulligan, who taught 23 years at The McGillis School, a Salt Lake City private kindergarten through eighth-grade school, helped last year with Nitro rockets and this year, she was teaching the youngsters about germination.

“This is a fun atmosphere for students to learn with Mom and Dad and the family; it’s fun when everyone is involved,” she said. “The biggest take-away is that they have something they can take home and can watch. I think that’s kind of cool they have a little treasure they will care for. I also like that they may take the responsibility to plant it somewhere else. This night is meant to inspire future scientists.”

Nearby, Roberts and Martin, who have taken a couple Advanced Placement science classes, were helping other elementary students.

“We like to volunteer and help out our community and several of our student government members actually went to Canyon View, so specifically for them, it’s meaningful to give back to the school they attended,” Roberts said. 

Martin said that students, who put the seed on top of a moist cotton ball in a plastic container, will be excited to see the seeds sprout over the next couple days.

“It was researched by University of Wisconsin to help develop and sustain farms, so it’s neat that kids are getting to learn the basics of something that was researched and is being used,” Martin said. “But mostly, for them, it’s just one of the really fun things they can do.”

University of Utah science demonstrator Tori Spratling was teaching students about liquid nitrogen. For 20 years, she has demonstrated various science experiments at schools around the Salt Lake Valley.

“Students are discovering how the state of matter we’re used to—solid, liquid, gas—how quickly we can go in between them; what you can’t do just normally on your own,” she said. “You can freeze water and that takes a while. So, this is just showing very quick transitions between states of matter. We’ll go from a liquid to a gas, we’ll do liquid nitrogen to nitrogen gas, and we’ll do frozen water.”

While it’s part of the state core curriculum students learn in elementary school, she said it will also help with their basic science understanding they’ll build upon in secondary schools.

“What I want is for these students to develop just a love of science, and learn that science is fun, and it’s exciting,” Spratling said. “It’s something that you want to explore.”