NEW PALESTINE — They dug up plastic dinosaurs, made pink slime and dropped eggs on purpose, all in the name of science.
Elementary-age students from all around Hancock County took part in a one-day Science Camp at New Palestine High School organized by the school’s Science National Honor Society.
The older high school students, who excel in science, technology, engineering and math put the camp together and created fun-filled exploratory stations for younger students.
The idea was to get the younger kids to start thinking about how cool science can be by showing them many experiments and projects associated with science like physics and engineering, things some young kids might shy away from, said junior Caroline Dunbar.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Dunbar said. “We want the kids to kind of know and understand what they will one day be coming into.”
She didn’t start liking science and other STEM-related fields until she got into middle school, but wished there had been science camps to take part in when she was younger, Dunbar said.
Science teacher Darlene Seifert supervised the outing, but credited the students with organizing and pulling off the event.
She liked the fact the her high school students had a day of learning as well.
“They got indoctrinated into what teaching is all about,” Seifert said with a laugh.
There were enough high school students in the Science National Honor Society to allow each elementary school student to be paired with an older science student who could assist and direct experiments as well as answer questions.
Seifert enjoyed watching the students extract DNA, create a tornado jar mixing ingredients together to make a small, tornado-like vortex and take part in a camp favorite, an egg drop competition.
The students also went on a nature walk around the outside of the school to look for different types of insects.
Many of the students who are part of the high school Science National Honor Society will go onto study some kind of science in college.
Johnathon Ehle, senior, was one of the camp organizers. He plans to study pre-medicine next fall as a freshman at University of Southern Indiana and was thrilled to see the younger kids want to understand how science really works.
“I liked how the kids did learn at least a little bit about science,” he said. “When we did the egg drop they were so excited about it and it was all about physics.”
For the younger children, the camp was mostly about having fun. Several agreed in unison, shaking their heads yes when asked if they would want to take part in the same kind of event again.
Mission accomplished, the older students said. They wanted to young students to look forward to getting involved in science at an early age and the camp did.