April 28, 2014

First graders explore the world of science at USAO

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

— Young, fertile minds soaked up a dose of intellectual growth on Monday morning.

The first graders of Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center traveled on foot to the University of Science and Art Oklahoma for a day of learning.

The students' mode of travel meant no cost for the school and exercise for the students, Kim Hawkins Sanders, Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center, said. The Chickasha Police and Fire Department closed off the streets while the students were crossing them.

Biology, archeology, paleontology, botany and even a little percussion in the music room were just a few of the areas that the first graders were able to explore on the campus grounds, Sanders said.

Several faculty from deaf education, science, education and speech pathology as well as USAO students at every station gave their first day of summer to educate the first graders on a variety of topics and lead the groups through a variety of fun activities, Jeanette Loutsch, Associate Professor of Biology at USAO, said.

Coffee filters and paperclips were transformed into parachutes that the students dropped from the stairwell on the second floor of Trout Hall. The students also made pinwheels, examined their fingerprints, did science experiments with mentos and soda, and more.

The first graders really seemed to dig the activities set up on the lawn in front of the USAO Oval. Using shovels, they dug up large animal bones and then buried them again. They then searched through kiddie pools for smaller bones such as teeth. On a table nearby, archeological finds were displayed for the students to examine.