West Homer event makes science fun

West Homer Elementary School is abandoning its tri-yearly science fair competition for a night of science fun for students and their parents. 

Science Palooza will take place on Thursday, April 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature hands-on activities and the grand opening of the school’s nature trail, said West Homer fourth grade teacher Shellie Worsfold.

“It’s for the students and their families to get a hands-on night of science instead of them being stationary and being judged by community members. We are moving away from that competition to get kids more excited about science and the different things they can do with it,” Worsfold said. “We’re trying to do something that’s fun for everyone.”

Science Palooza is open to community members and families with children of all ages, even if their children do not attend West Homer Elementary, Worsford said. All the activities can be adjusted for children of kindergarten through sixth grade levels. 

Among the several activities available at Science Palooza, kids will have the opportunity to test gravity by performing an egg drop, build catapults, learn about polymers and make gak, experiment with air pressure, make bird feeders and engineer a structure to hold a textbook using gum drops and toothpicks.

In addition to the indoor activities, Science Palooza is a chance for the community to see the nature trail with activity stations, where children can practice science such as water testing at the creek. 

Former teacher Lyn Maslow wrote a grant two years ago that provided the funds for the trail, Worsfold said. The trail also has a new sign painted by Kevin Dee at Ageya Wilderness Education.

“It’s an extension of our schoolyard, so community members are welcome. There’s picnic tables that can be used for outdoor learning. We encourage the community to come by any time and take their families, not just on Science Palooza night,” Worsfold said.

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com.