EASTERN – On Monday, Allen Central Middle School students participated in The Physics Zoo. The program is a collection of hands –on-activities that explore various scientific concepts of: Electricity, Light Behavior, Magnetism, Mechanics and Pressure. Heather Nelson, 4-H Extension Agent and Brandi Osborne, 4-H Program Assistant guided students as they traveled through 18 different centers exploring various concepts in science.
“I really like hands on learning and figuring out how things work,” said Allen Central Middle School student Kelsea Hale. “It makes science interesting and helps me understand the concepts,”
The Physics Zoo is a program developed by Professor Joe Straley of the University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy. The program consist of 18 different stations. Students are divided into groups of two to four when they enter the room. Once student are in the group they are instructed on how to proceed with each concept station. The timing can vary slightly, but typically each group has four to eight minutes to spend investigating and exploring how each concept works. As a group they must answer specific questions about each station.
The Physics Zoo program is offered to all seventh grade classes in Floyd County Schools by the 4-H Extension Office. John M. Stumbo, Betsy Layne, Adams Middle and Allen Central Middle participated in the program. Students study the basic concepts and ideas of physics in the classroom to prepare them for the program.
“Students may be intimidated by the concept of physics. When they participate in the program, they see how the concepts are constructed and work and most of all begin to understand how they work,” said Heather Nelson, 4-H Agent.
Approximately 276 seventh grade students participated in The Physics Zoo from the four Floyd County Schools.
“My students enjoy hands on learning. Participating in The Physics Zoo program helps with the Next Generation Science Standards especially the eight standard, science and engineering,” said Carole Bentley, of Allen Central Middle School.
The Floyd County Extension Office offers many fun and informative programs such as Planning for Family Financial Transitions, Sewing Club, Bee Keeping and Container Gardening. March is National Nutrition Month. For more information from the extension office, contact , 4-H Agent Heather Nelson at (606) 886-2668.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 794-0290.