Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 6:17 pm | Overcast 62º


Marymount Students Discover the Fun Side of Science

Experiments galore take over the school for a day

On May 27, strange fungi were in abundance in Battistone Hall at Marymount of Santa Barbara. Bacteria threatened to burst from Petri dishes. Dead roses floated in mysterious substances. Fruits and vegetables emitted electrical waves, and handmade roller-coasters sent projectile marbles.

At the pool, the eighth-graders’ ROVs (remote operated vehicles) negotiated the watery depths. In the elegant Marymount Tea House, trout decided whether they preferred hip-hop or country music and then debated over colors. In the Multipurpose Room at the center of Marymount’s campus, strange green shoots burst forth from dark soil, and delicate roots took firm hold of their new environments.

Science in all its glory took over Marymount’s campus at this year’s Science Discovery Day. You might call the event a science “mutiny” except for the fact that all of the creative, carefully documented, substantiated, measured and hypothesized craziness happened with the express permission of — even enormous help from — Marymount science teachers Rodney Lee, Tim Pearson and Jannine Tuttle and the outstanding Lower School teachers in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The word “mutiny” should be replaced with “celebration.” This year’s Science Discovery Day at Marymount of Santa Barbara was indeed a celebration.

Students paired up with their school buddies. Fifth-graders locked elbows with kindergartners, and seventh-graders with third-graders, etc., to discover and enjoy the student-created science projects. Parents were in abundance, too, and were poking, sending off projectile marbles, and expressing surprise and delight alongside the students.

Marymount’s Science Discovery Day is an event that the school has hosted for seven consecutive years and is the culmination of months of work and study in science. The event has interactive displays and experiments. Visitors can participate. There are also quiet displays that demonstrate careful scientific process and discipline.

“Our fifth-graders utilize an experimental design process and are tasked with forming a testable question which can then be answered via the results garnered from their experiment. It’s fun, but serious science whereby they not only have fun running their experiments, but also incorporate the use of scientific tools, take careful observations, and record their quantitative and qualitative data,” Lee said.

“I loved my third-grade buddy’s demonstration of her lever and pulley system,” a Marymount seventh-grader said. “I have experienced two Marymount Science Discovery Days, and I can’t wait for next year’s. ROVs, here I come!”

— Molly Seguel is the director of admissions for Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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