GUES Is Wild About Science

The Discovery Lab at Grenada Upper Elementary is Wild About Science this year!  Many great events and activities about science are on tap for students to explore during their time in the lab.  Through hands on lessons and experiments, GUES students will dive into all areas of science. 

            This year the Discovery Lab is hosting “Wild About Science Wednesday” on the first Wednesday of every month.  On this special day of the month, students can wear their “Wild About Science” t-shirts that are sold in the lab.  Discovery Lab Director, Melody Shaw states, “Each year we try to have a theme to get the kids excited about science.  This year “Wild About Science” seemed like a great idea, and the students have loved it!  Seeing all the students and faculty in the green t-shirts makes for an exciting day of learning!”

            The lab schedules many special events and guests each year.  Recently, a little “Wood Magic” visited the Discovery Lab.  Presenters from the Wood Magic Science Fair (WMSF) held at Mississippi State University traveled to the school to share with students the importance and versatility of wood.  Each year MSU holds the Wood Magic Science fair on its campus. The Fair is an exciting and innovative program aimed specifically at educating elementary school children about the tremendous importance of wood and wood products to individuals and to the economy of the nation. The WMSF is an attempt to change some of the common misconceptions concerning the depletion of trees, to improve the visibility of the forest products industries, and to emphasize their status as environmental conservators. The WMSF originated at the Forest Products Laboratory, Forest and Wildlife Research Center at Mississippi State University and is beginning to spread to other states.  MSU Forests Products Department staff, Mr. Don Bales, Dr. David Jones, Mr. Jason Gordon, and Grenada County 4-H Youth Development Agent, Jan Walton, all volunteered their time to help present “Wood Magic” to the students. 

            To set the stage for learning, students viewed a short film entitled House, a Child’s Guide to the Origin of Everyday Stuff that shows the progression of a tree into a house.  After the video, students learned techniques to identify and classify trees using leaves and bark from trees around the school’s campus.  Presenters discussed  “Daily Wood” with students.  “Daily Wood” explains the consumption of wood in the United States per day – 5.5lbs/person.  Students were amazed to learn that many everyday items such as toothpaste and vanilla contain wood! 

            With the help of student volunteers, presenters demonstrated how wood veneer strength can be increased by turning plywood in different directions.  Another activity entitled “Rock Stars”  illustrated the strength of wood along the grain. 

The presentation “Bubbling Bazookas” revealed the difference in denseness of different types of wood.  Using pieces of red oak and white oak, presenters forced air through a fitting in one end of each piece of wood into a glove on the other.  The amount of air that passed into the glove demonstrated the difference in denseness.  The presenters reinforced the concept of the ability of air to pass through wood by dipping one end of a piece of red oak into bubble soap and blowing through the opposite end to create bubbles.  Each student received a Wood Magic red oak, Bubbling Bazooka to take home.  “We are so thankful for the presenters who traveled to Grenada to hold this special day with our students.  It was a great success and the whole school learned from the program,” stated Shaw. 

This year’s Wood Magic Science Fair will be held at Mississippi State University during the week of October 3-7

Photo of Stephanie Raper

Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor