PRESTONSBURG – The East Kentucky Science Center hosted over 50 curious fifth grade students from Inez Elementary School as part of the River Works Program on Wednesday. The program was developed by AEP River Operations and is part of a national outreach education effort of the National River Center and Hall of Fame.
The River Works Program is a coordinated effort which brings together the for-profit industry, community leaders, nature centers, educators, and the general public in recognition of the role rivers have played and will continue to play in the nation’s future. Its mission is to educate children and their families about the commerce, cultures, and conservation of the rivers of American and their watersheds.
The East Kentucky Science Center offers educational experiences affordable for most families. EKSC Instructional Specialist and Kentucky Opry Member Susan Scott talked to the students about the roles rivers play in various areas of our lives and led them as through various hands-on education stations. Students were also able to perform various experiments focused around water.
“Having a place like the East Kentucky Science Center in our county is a treasure,” said Robin Tackett of East Point. “Parents can bring their children to a place where they are actually learning and having fun. When kids enjoy what they do the start to love it, who knows, a trip to the science center may spark an interest in something like the planetarium that will inspire a local child to go to school and work for NASA someday. Eastern Kentucky has suffered a bad reputation for too long. We have smart kids, good schools and good teachers. We are not taking the phrase dumb hillbilly anymore.”
As the students were leaving, Prestonsburg Tourism brought a group of over 50 people from North Carolina to see the electricity program, a planetarium show, a night sky tour and some lasers.
The local facility is a part of the Big Sandy Community and Technical College and serves as a hub of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in Eastern Kentucky. The center features a 40-foot dome and the Spitz Sci-Dome projection system, only one of two dozen in the world. For more information on the East Kentucky Science Center, call (606)889-8260.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.