Hands-on science

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Children sometime learn by watching, or listening, but hands-on lessons are often those they remember best.
Dyana Miniard is using her 30 years of teaching experience to bring some of those lessons to area children at Brewton Public Library.
The idea came about when Miniard was asked to do some programs by “Miss Becky.” She said that she would and the programs were so well received that she was asked to do her own programs for preschool through middle school age children.
“I have lined up several programs for the next few weeks,” Miniard said. “Right now we meet from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. so that not only the pre-kindergarteners can attend but the older children can, too. Right now we have the programs on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Miniard has planned some science programs to give the children some hands-on experience in science. The first experiment was to give each student a pie pan filled with milk, then put two or three drops of food coloring in the milk. Nothing happened until the ‘magic’ juice was added and then the colors began to swirl around in the pan. The ‘magic juice’ was something so simple as dish washing detergent and it shows the chemical reactions that occur when items are added together.”
Another program is to show the students a “tree cookie” that is really just a slice out of a tree to show how a rainy season or a dry season impacts the growth rings in trees.
“We plan on doing some T-shirt leaf prints where we will get some leaves and paint them and then iron the leaf design into the shirt,” Miniard said. “Then we will have one where we will show density by putting eggs in a glass of water, then make the egg rise to the top by adding a secret ingredient.”
Miniard hopes more students will join the program.
“I have taught school for 30 years and I want to keep kids interested and show them science can be a lot of fun,” she added. “We have some other projects lined up for the students, but we don’t want to give away too much information just yet. Right now we just want to invite the students to come on by and join the group.”

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