About 60 Tiffin Middle School students stretched their imaginations, exploring the world of science with the help of professors and students during a recent science enrichment opportunity in Gillmor Science Hall.
Sixth-graders from the HEIGHTS gifted/talented program and eighth-graders from the Science Club were fascinated when they reassembled a skeleton, tested their lung capacity, touched human organs and tasted rocks. Throughout their visit to Heidelberg, the students rotated among sessions in biology, chemistry and geology. Ellen Ewing, lab technician in the National Center for Water Quality Research, coordinated the event along with biology professor Dr. Pam Faber.
The students’ enthusiasm was matched by the faculty members and Heidelberg science majors who walked them through experiments and hands-on exploration.
Giving the youngsters their official Heidelberg welcome, President Rob Huntington told them, “It’s really, really, really fantastic you’re here.”
“No area of study or work from kindergarten to graduate school is more important than science,” he said. “Others are important, but science is vital to everything on earth.” He added a special message of encouragement to the girls in the group to pursue their interest in science. “If this sparks an interest in you, keep going.”
In addition to the rotating sessions, some of the students toured the water quality lab and Beeghly Library. They all enjoyed lunch on campus.
Ewing has coordinated this event for several years with the Science Club, working with its alum and club advisor Jim Mason. This year, alumna Jennifer Bupp, the HEIGHTS teacher, brought her students as well. Dr. Aaron Roerdink helped the students with a chemistry experiment, alum Jim Ryan, sabbatical replacement for Dr. Amy Berger this semester, taught about different types of rocks and Rob Synder showed them around the library. Current students also assisted, interacting with the youngsters in various stations in biology and geology.