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Science Night at Dilworth Elementary Getting Bigger Every Year

Mar 10, 2016 10:36AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Natalie Mollinet | natalie@mycityjournals.com

Sugar House - Everything from lizards to snakes, from outer space to dropping eggs, was found at Dilworth Elementary School on its science night. This was Dilworth’s third annual science night, and every year more and more kids come. The fifth- and sixth-grade kids were able to show off their science fair projects. Students built airplanes and tried to see how far they could fly, watched chemical reactions and learned how they can bring science home. 

Jeanne Shope is not just a volunteer but a mother of two of the students who attend Dilworth. She said that it’s a fun night and the kids get interested in what’s going on.

“I love it. It’s the biggest one that we’ve had. We started doing this two years ago,” Shope said. 

One room allowed students to hold reptiles from huge snakes to little lizards – a lot of the male students hung out in this room and loved being able to hold the reptiles. Hogle Zoo brought animals including a great horned owl that students could come up and pet. 

Aiden Hogle-Weimt, a student who was very into his lizard, said that he was super excited for the event even though it was his first time.

“I’m pretty much excited to see everything,” he said. 

Aside from the animals, students learned how a green screen works on news stations, walked on the Star Trek bridge and got to be in an earthquake simulation. 

Talking to any child was almost impossible because of how excited they were running from room to room, working on their crafts and running back and forth from the egg drop room to dropping their eggs, seeing if they could actually be able to not break their egg. 

Not only were students invited to attend, but parents could come and have dinner with their children, provided by the school. Students were also encouraged to take an experiment home with them. 

As students went to eight of the different activities that they could do hands-on or watch, they received a stamp. Once they received enough stamps, they could go back and get a prize. 

Jared Wright, the principal at Dilworth, said the kids come back with a greater love for science. 

“I loved seeing the kids trying the different experiments, learning how to program using CODE and how much they loved the animals. I loved the event because the students saw just how fun science can be,” Wright said.

The brains behind science night at Dilworth came from Michael and Christina Hight, who believed that since science is usually portrayed as a tough subject, it was the best way to help kids get over that fear and to help kids get hands-on experience. 

“We wanted the most memorable event of the year for students to be education, not assessments,” Michael Hight said. “Science Night seemed like a great opportunity to expose students to the why of education. One day you might want to engineer a better bridge, work in aeronautics, build the next killer app or make improvements in weather predictions.” 

Originally, the funding for supplies for science night was denied by the STEM Action Center, but thanks to the Hights, principal Wright, the PTA and the school community council, science night has been able to continue as a collaboration of the school and community, and it has been a success. 

“You will never see so many kids happy while unsuccessfully dropping an egg without it breaking,” Hight said. “Watching their structure collapse on a shake table, their paper airplane taking a nose dive or their computer program not doing what they expected -- no matter what they decide to be when they grow up, they will benefit from learning to enjoy persisting until they succeed.”  

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