By Gabrielle Parisi
Billera Hall was transformed into a science laboratory on Wed. April 27 and Thurs. April 28 for the annual Environment Day hosted by the Natural Science Club. The purpose of this event is to educate second and third graders from schools in local areas about environmental science in a way that is fun and interactive.
The club came up with the idea for Environment Day over ten years ago when they were trying to find ways to get the community more involved with DeSales and their club. By creating this particular event, the club found a way to not only involve the community but also jumpstart kids’ interest in the sciences.
Current President of the Natural Science Club Allison Myers said, “We wanted to expose the kids at an earlier stage in life so that they could have an introduction into a whole realm of science related topics before they started learning about it in middle school on a more intense level.”
This year, over 800 elementary school children attended Environment Day. They rotated between 24 different tables for seven and a half minutes to make sure they had a chance to see all of the fun experiments and participate in every game and craft.
One of the teachers from Liberty School commented that she loved how diverse all of the tables were, and she could tell that her students were really enjoying each station and what it had to offer.
Environment Day would not be possible without the natural science majors that volunteered to run each station. This year, over 80 taught the kids on topics such as pollution prevention, endangered species, different types of biomes and more. Some students focus on one particular station to teach from year to year, but others bounce around to different stations and fully immerse themselves in the day to acquire knowledge from their fellow classmates on different science topics. The experience is very educational for them as well.
“When I take a step and look at all of the topics with a general viewpoint it helps me to learn a lot,” said Myers who is used to focusing on chemistry and biology on a college level. She also mentioned that the grade school students occasionally provide a learning opportunity for the DeSales students by mentioning facts that the college kids may have not recalled.
Many of the schools that attend Environment Day come back year after year because the event has such a positive impact on the second and third graders.
“I think this really does inspire some of the students a lot,” said Myers. There are definitely some future scientists among the grade schoolers.