By Christie Barlow
Scientific equipment and minds are going to be on hand at the Harrisburg library on Thursday.
Discovery Place presents ABC Chemistry will take over the library from 10 a.m. until noon, performing experiments and giving kids a chance to get involved in some of the action.
The first of two programs begins at 10 a.m. and is for children ages pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. The second program begins at 11 a.m. and is for children grades 1 to 5.
This program seeks to get kids involved in and excited about science, said Ashley Dumond, who works in the Science Reach department at Discovery Place.
“A kids’ job is really to explore and learn,” Dumond said. “That’s what they do everyday. When they play and explore that’s their experiment, they just don’t realize it.”
Having kids learn without realizing is one of the keys to programs like this, Dumond said. The ABC program tailors its experiments around poems so kids are laughing and having fun.
They present kids with a problem in rhyme, then ask them to help figure out a solution to the problem.
In an experiment where participants make glue from milk, they’re told, ’Greta ran out of glue for Grandma,’ Dumond said. The poems are used to help walk kids through the scientific process, she said.
If the kids were at Discovery Place they would learn by doing, Dumond said.
These programs are so interactive because if you can get kids excited and having fun that’s the key to getting them to explore and wonder, Dumond said. Dumond hopes that when kids are done with the program they will have a better understanding of chemistry and be really excited about science.
“It’s great when a kid says, ‘Because of your program I was able to get every question right on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader,’ or ‘Because of your class I got every question right on my test,’ ” Dumond said. “It’s worth it when you have an impact and help.”
Discovery Place has done around 20 shows at the Harrisburg library, said Pat Lowder, a member of the library staff. They offer a wide variety of programs and you can always expect a good show, she said.
Lowder attributes the quality of the programs and the preparation of the presenters for Discovery Places success at the Harrisburg library.
“It’s a great program to have for all ages,” Lowder said. “It covers a wide variety of things for a wide variety of ages.”
• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.