Carlin C. Coppin third-graders learn how to make elephant toothpaste Tuesday

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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The third-grade classrooms at Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School became very scientific Tuesday. That’s when the Physics Club from Lincoln High School performed scientific experiments there for the students to promote the high school’s upcoming science expo. “It’s important for them to start learning about science at a young age so they can become interested,” said Milenne Olmedo, a member of the physics club. The Science Expo will be held Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 in the Lincoln High School gym. The Feb. 18 date at night will be open to the public. The Feb. 19 date will be during the day for Lincoln’s third graders to attend. According to Jerusha Loya, a physics club member, the expo will feature exhibits from all of the advanced science classes in the science department at Lincoln High. Visitors to the science expo will see “anything you can think of,” including booths where viewers can learn about the science of food, how to hear sound with your teeth, and see a dissected sheep’s eye, according to Jacquelyn Ackerson, 17. The adviser for the physics club is Marilou Edwards, a science teacher at Lincoln High School. “It’s a good opportunity to get them excited about science,” Edwards said about the science expo and the physics club’s visit to Carlin C. Coppin. “It’s a good age to get them excited about science.” This is because the information given during the classroom presentations “hits state standards for third and fourth graders” when it comes to science, Edwards said. Members of the physics club visited the three third-grade classrooms at Carlin C. Coppin Elementary School Tuesday to talk about the science expo. Abir Hegazi, 16, Devona Do, 16, and Esmat Hegazi, 16, engaged the children in Penny Whitworth’s class with an activity they called the evolution game and also presented an experiment involving hydrophobic sand. “It was sand in hydrophobic coating, so it wouldn’t get wet,” Do said. The high school students compared the sand in hydrophobic coating to regular sand, and showed how the sand in the special coating responded to water. “If stirred, it wouldn’t mix with water,” said Trista Beitz, 18. The hydrophobic sand was also dropped in the water so it would stay on the top and the third graders were invited to poke their in the fingers into the sand to see that their fingers would stay dry. “It was really fun,” said third-grader Camille Sullivan. “I liked how if you put your finger in the water, it wouldn’t get wet.” After the presentations in the classrooms, the three third-grade classes walked over to another room in the school where they were shown how to make “elephant toothpaste.” “It’s called elephant toothpaste because it’s so much foam, enough to brush the teeth of an elephant,” Jacquelyn said. “It shows the chemical reaction of hydrogen peroxide decomposing.” The experiment involved mixing hydrogen peroxide (10 times the normal strength of peroxide sold in stores,) dish soap and potassium iodide, which they told the kids was “Chemical X.” When the chemicals were combined, it created copious amounts of foam and heat was released. “We put the soap in so you can see the heat released,” Jacquelyn said. The third graders in Whitworth’s classroom were very enthusiastic during the presentation and were eager to participate in the experiments and activity. Gracie Morebeck, 9, said she likes science because “you get to do experiments” and liked the sand experiment. Deidre Graham, 17, said she was looking forward to the science expo, since the Physics Club has worked on it since summer. “We put a lot of work into it,” Graham said. “It will be nice to see how big and cool it will be.” There will be a science expo during the day and one at night for Lincoln residents to attend. “We want to encourage everyone in Lincoln to come,” said Victoria Binning, 17. “Lincoln is such a great community and we want everyone to come together and share this mutual experience.” KNOW AND GO: Check out the Lincoln High School Science Expo on Thursday, Feb. 18. Tickets are $3 a person or $12 per family. Tickets are being pre-sold. Call Lincoln High School for more information on where to buy tickets at 645-6360.