NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> The municipal building buzzed with the excitement of learning during the township’s second Super Science Sunday.
Throughout the afternoon on March 11, about 500 kids explored the world of science, from making slime to learning about motion energy, the sources of stream, river and groundwater pollution, and careers in health, science and technology.
The event was organized by the Newtown Township Parks & Recreation Department and financially underwritten by the Newtown Business Commons to give area youngsters a chance to explore science.
“It’s exciting to see kids excited about science,” said program coordinator Matt Zipin as he looked around a very busy municipal building. “All the kids are getting to see different kinds of science today, from coding and making slime to the energy of motion and the science of crime solving. It’s definitely cool to see.”
A new addition this year was the mobile Bucks County Crime Lab, which children and parents got to tour.
Also attracting a lot of attention was the county’s 600 pound Remotec-Andros F6B, a remote controlled robot used by law enforcement for surveillance and dangerous situations.
Lt. Robert Gorman of the Bucks County Detectives fielded questions about the robotic technology. He also displayed three drones, which the District Attorney’s office uses for surveillance and accident investigations.
Nearby, Newtown Township firefighter Scott Ratzke briefed children and their parents on fire safety in the home. “My goal is to get them to sit down with their parents to put together a fire escape plan for their home.”
Ratzke gave the kids a chance to look through a thermal imaging camera and to try on a fire helmet. And as they left, he gave each child a fist bump and a plastic fire hat to take home.
Next to his table, Cyclone Cayla of Mad Science spent a busy four hours showing kids how to make Mad Science slime. Needless to say, her table was among the busiest in the place.
As a white fog created by dry ice spilled out of a container at one end of the table, Cyclone Cayla spooned out the ingredients as a group of young scientists made a jelly-like slime.
“Kids love slime,” said Cayla, a senior at The College of New Jersey who has worked with Mad Science for the past two years. “So it’s a great way to get them excited about science.” The Yardley resident is studying to become a teacher.
Inside the meeting room, a group of kids sat transfixed as Peter from Engineering for Kids gave a hands-on lesson in motion energy using toys, pulleys and engineering skills.
Also inside the meeting room, Jayne Foster and Daniel Rosales from PECO were enlightening students on different lighting options while handing out crayons and activity books.
Nearby, Patrick Foster and Shawn Pfleger from the Newtown Artesian Water Company were giving out brochures about water and displaying an old wooden fire plug used a century ago in Boston.
Also in attendance were Exact Solar, which brought solar panels for the kids to see, and Kodikus of Newtown, which shared information about robotics and coding.
In another room, township supervisor Dennis Fisher and members of the Environmental Advisory Council were using an Enviroscape to teach kids about issues impacting the environment, including how runoff from agricultural fields, industry and from simply washing the car can impact waterways and the groundwater system.
At the far end of the building, a team of Council Rock High School South students were conducting an experiment in electrolysis, a technique that uses a direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction.
Also participating in the event were the STEM Stars, Holland Veterinary Care and Dr. Robert Wolf who shared with the students potential career paths in science and technology.
“I’m hoping the kids leave here today with a new excitement for science,” said Zipin. “Our whole goal is to open their minds. And I think we did. You can see it in their faces.”