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Students explore world of science

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Ayden Phillips, 10, blows down plastic cups Monday during Science Night at the Dunn Center at N.C. Wesleyan College.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Local students and their families enjoyed an evening of scientific exploration on Monday night as they participated in the Duke Energy Science night at the Dunn Center on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College.

The science night event was a joint effort by the teacher education program at Wesleyan and the STEM program at Rocky Mount Prep School.

“I love the collaboration involved in this effort,” said Dr. Patricia Brewer, associate professor of education at Wesleyan. “This is a great partnership.”

The Duke Energy Science Night event allowed children to experiment with the fun side of science through a variety of different hands-on activities including building marshmallow towers, constructing tin foil boats and knocking down cup towers  with air power.

Peter Merritt, a business major at Wesleyan College and a member of the school’s soccer team, was one of several Wesleyan students helping out at the event. Merritt was teaching students to make bubble wands using straws and pipe cleaners.

“I love helping out with this,” Merritt said. “In the summers, I work as a counselor with my local YMCA, and this reminds me of the fun I have working with those kids.”

Chris Lopez, 9, was interested in the magnetic painting experiment in which children used a magnetic wand held under a paper plate to drag metal objects through paint and form colorful designs. Though Lopez said he enjoyed the activity, he was already looking forward to making parachutes at another station set up in the lobby of the Dunn Center.

“Math and science are my favorite subjects,” said Lopez, a fourth-grade student at Rocky Mount Prep.

Yolanda Bailey, who teaches third-grade math and science at the the charter school, helped organize Monday’s event. Bailey said events like this help make science, technology, engineering and math come alive for students.

“Kids can come with their families to a free event and engage in a number of different activities,” Bailey said. “These activities are designed to help students fall in love with science.”

This is the fourth year Rocky Mount Prep has hosted a science night and the second year the school has collaborated with Wesleyan to offer an event open to the general public.

“Science Night raises a student’s interest in the world around them, opens the door to career possibilities they likely never considered, stirs up creativity and challenges the student in area of science and technology,” Brewer said.

Duke Energy Science Nights are an educational initiative of the North Carolina Science Festival presented by the Biogen Foundation and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, according to information provided by the school.

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