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Hartselle Enquirer

Sizzling Science

By Staff
Danville Middle School students take a hands-on approach to learning
Special to the Enquirer
Enter at your own risk! Fire is blazing in one corner, snow is falling in another and there are dead animals everywhere…you must be in Cinda Preuit’s classroom.
This year’s fifth grade students at Danville Middle School were invited to experience “Sizzling Science,” a high school peer teaching project supported in part by a HATS-Stedtrain grant and Alabama Science in Motion.
Danville High juniors and seniors in marine biology class planned and presented projects to their middle school peers over the period of a week. The classroom and lab were set up to present five separate teaching stations that would help fifth grade students better understand selected areas of science.
During “Poppin’ Polymers” students learned about polymers and then were allowed to create several polymer samples such as slime, silly putty, and super balls.
A forensic unit allowed students to dig up and articulate a mystery skeleton and determine the “cause of death.”
But it wouldn’t be marine biology without the animals. “Creepy Critters” allowed students to hold and learn about the scales and plates of such preserved critters as a gulper eel, dogfish shark, alligator gar, skates, and rays.
The final teaching group had a “Living Touch Lab” in which students got to hold living sea critters and let them walk across their hands.
In a reflection paper, fifth grader Connor Lindsey said, “What I liked most was the touch lab. I loved getting to hold live sea anemones, star fish, hermit crabs, sea urchins and brittle stars. They were so unique.”

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