Our program starts in grade 4 with a “children's university” at the beginning of the school year, during which the future researchers conduct experimental investigations of everyday, yet often perplexing phenomena.
During the year-round program, a teaching team of elementary, middle and high school teachers provide opportunities for experimental research at fully prepped stations; then the students have more space for investigation and experience; and finally they supervise their own independent projects.
The program takes the young researchers to the "Baltimore Science Museum" and culminates in a "Scientists' Congress" at the end of the school year, where the 4th graders exchange ideas for a water desalination plant to help a country with a desert climate to produce drinking water.
Here are some of the voices of young scientists describing the kick-off event - the 17th “Children's University” at GISW:
Chemistry: In chemistry class we did quite a few experiments with Mr. Lommert. In his first experiment he dumped water and another liquid into a glass: next, he melted Styrofoam in the glass which looked very cool. In another experiment, Mr. Lommert left balloons on the ceiling; then a candle burst the balloons and a jet of fire came out.
Biology: In biology class we met a gecko named Georgie. He was as big as my hand. His head still had some old skin on it because he was shedding his entire skin. So he looked a little funny. We also learned to distinguish real animals from fake ones.
Physics: In physics class we worked a lot with electricity. With teacher Mr. Haider, we did an exciting lightning experiment. Some people die from it. And then we built a hot air balloon.
- by Janni W. (4b)
The children's UNI today was a lot of fun. We learned chemistry with Mr. Lommert. He ate a candle and then he made toothpaste, but it was too much and it foamed out. Mr. Lommert also made balloons explode with a candle. Then Mrs. Augustin explained biology to us. She brought a gecko with her. She explained to us that the gecko shed its skin. After that came Mr. Haider, who explained physics. We did a hot air balloon experiment and we learned about electricity. After that we learned safety precautions and then went to the lab. There we did an experiment by ourselves, guided by Ms. Colopy, our science teacher from the big school. Children's UNI is fun!!!
- by Can A. (4b)
Chemistry: it is my favorite NaWi, mixing elements and other interesting things. First, the teacher melted styrofoam. Then he made balloons explode. He also made toothpaste and it immediately expanded. He also ate a candle. Chemistry is great!
Biology: Biology is the science of living things, for example, plants and animals. The teacher had a gecko called Georgie, he shed his skin today. I like biology.
Physics: it works with air and electricity. The teacher imploded a can with hot air and water. He also made lightning and burned paper. Physics is definitely the most dangerous science.
- by Julian B.-T. (4b)
My favorite part was the researcher who had the gecko. The gecko's name is Georgie. He was so sweet. He had no tail and he was not afraid at all.
- by Oskar F. (4b)