Science National Honors Society Hosting of “Science Night” a Huge Success

Science National Honors Society Hosting of “Science Night” a Huge Success

Attendees participate in the “Non-Newtonian Goo”  activity

Evan St. Germain, Writer

Thursday, March 13th – Franklin High School’s Science National Honors Society (SNHS) chapter hosted an exposition of intro-level science experiments and demonstrations for Franklin’s elementary and middle school students. Students and their parents toured Thursday’s “Science Night” in throngs, enjoying the night’s demonstrations and activities with smiles of wonder and fascination.

Serenaded by string instruments as they ascended up to the second and third floors, participants were directed to the four science classrooms where the event took place. Heading towards the biology lab with his parent, one younger participant compared the string ensemble to “an orchestra”.

Kids watch excitedly as Jimmy Robbins (“Mr. Bernoulli”) and James Nguyen explain physics with a leafblower
Kids watch excitedly as Jimmy Robbins (“Mr. Bernoulli”) and James Nguyen explain physics with a leafblower

The biology room featured microscopes magnifying single-celled organisms and activities focused on introducing the concept of a hypothesis to young students. One such activity, called “cabbage patch chemistry” asked participants to guess whether baking soda or vinegar would lighten the color of a deep purple cabbage-based mixture. After making their hypotheses, the kids watched as a SNHS member poured the purple cabbage mixture into the cup with vinegar and the cup with baking soda, and observed changes in the color of the mixture which confirmed or disproved their hypothesis. The participants seemed to enjoy this activity as they experienced first-hand how the scientific method works, preparing them for middle and high school science classes.

“Cabbage patch chemistry” was just one of about 20 similar experiments in biology, chemistry, physics, and robotics at the event. All of them aimed at giving their participants practice with the scientific method, introducing new understanding of the natural world, and spreading enthusiasm about science as students prepare for high school and beyond.

Each room also hosted scientific demonstrations performed by FHS students and faculty. Garbed in the classic white lab coat, chemistry teacher Ms. Cintron periodically performed a captivating demonstration with a bunsen burner, some matchsticks, and an assortment of chemical compounds. After dipping the matchsticks in each compound, she put the matches into the flame one by one, each producing a different color. The kids and their parents observed the proceedings with astonished curiosity, one of the students exclaiming: “Mommy, I want to try it!” as the demonstration came to a close. Ms. Cintron did not miss the opportunity to mention that the difference in colors produced must have been caused by differences in the substances applied to each matchstick, planting the seed of understanding chemistry in the minds of young students via a memorable phenomenon.

With such a positive response, there is opportunity for SNHS not only to host a science night next year, but also possibly to expand the event. Science Night has proven the success of the first year of SNHS at Franklin HIgh School. This is thanks to the SNHS mentors as well as the chapter’s officers, Oliver Grella, Gabriela Blood, Bridget Belcher, and Emma Folly, faculty advisor Ann Butler and all other members participating in the event. Franklin High School can look forward to many more years of science-oriented community outreach from its chapter of the Science National Honors Society.