Magic of science sparks school students' interest

Soroptimist International Murray Bridge wants local year threes to think about STEM in a fun new way.

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If a big bang can start the universe, explosions might lead local children to careers in science.

That’s the hope of service club Soroptimist International Murray Bridge, which brought a “fire and ice” show by SciWorld to the city’s town hall on Tuesday.

Hundreds of year three students attended from St Joseph’s School, Murray Bridge North, Callington, Mypolonga and Tailem Bend.

For some it was their only school excursion for 2020.

Teddy McKennall, pictured, and two other presenters used liquid nitrogen to shrink a balloon and pop the lids off Pringles cans, lit their hands on fire, created flames in almost every colour of the rainbow, simulated “dragon's breath” and demonstrated what happens when boiling water touches the coldest substance on Earth.

Accompanying the spectacle were the questions intended to get the children thinking: what does a fire need to burn, how cold is liquid nitrogen?

Afterwards they got to mix their own slime and build miniature catapaults.

Soroptimist Carol Bath said bringing the science magic show to town was one way of furthering the club’s mission to improve the lives of women and children.

“STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) can be something it’s very difficult to enthuse lower primary school children about,” she said.

But feedback from last year, when the Soroptimists brought the same show to town for the first time, had proven the value of the idea.

“Last year I had children right into the school holidays come up to me and say ‘we came to that day, that was amazing’,” she said.

“To think that they’re still thinking about science is ... wonderful.

“For us it’s putting on a one-day performance, but for the kids it may affect the rest of their lives.”

Science magic show was one of 10 community grant recipients in October

The science magic show went ahead thanks in part to a $2500 Murray Bridge council community grant.

Nine other groups also received community grants from the Murray Bridge council this month:

  • Aboriginal Sobriety Group, $4000 for an art therapy project and exhibition

  • Friends of the Murray Bridge Public Library, $5000 for a portable stage for library events

  • Domestic Violence is Never Acceptable, $4800 for their new op shop

  • Murray Bridge High School's Independent Learning Centre and Mypolonga RSL, $4800 for a learner driver program

  • Jervois Netball Club, $3300 for equipment and training for volunteers, coaches and players

  • Lower Murray Philatelic Society, $4000 for a newsletter and to connect to school students

  • Murray Bridge Community Concert Band, $4800 for new instruments

  • Murray Bridge Riding Club, $3400 for replacement show jumping equipment

  • Wellington Progress Association, $5000 for floor and window frame replacement and carpet for the community hall

Several more groups were funded through the council’s Quick Wins program and its environmental grants budget.

Photos of Teddy McKennall (top, middle) and Peggy Bennett and Isabella Doutre (bottom): Peri Strathearn.

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