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Learning on the go: Mobile Science Activity Center stops at Meadow View

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Students learn scientific methods, make ice cream

By Kelly Cantrall

Shannon Webb’s fifth-grade class dug into bagfuls of ice cream, just a few minutes before their lunch Tuesday. But the dessert-first approach to the meal was condoned, because it was in the name of science.

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The Mobile Science Activity Center from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is spending a few days at Meadow View Elementary School this week, giving students an opportunity to perform a hands-on experiment in the new lab, which hit the road in September.

Webb’s students made ice cream in a plastic bag Tuesday afternoon while learning about states of matter and freezing point. Students Anthony Munoz and Anyssa Buissereth had never made ice cream, and Buissereth was excited about the opportunity.

“I thought it was pretty cool. That was my first time learning it,” she said.

The school had been scheduled to host the lab more than a year ago, as it’s a popular addition to the school day for students around the state.

“I was surprised. I didn’t even know what to expect,” Munoz said.

The program launched the two new activity centers last month, which now boast a 70-inch television and iPads at each workstation. The centers were paid for by donations from a variety of sponsors, MSAC Program Coordinator Jason Hodge said.

“I’m still trying to learn it as well,” Hodge said of the new technology in the center.

The program is so popular Hodge isn’t taking new requests from schools at the moment. He believes teachers like the program because it gives them access to facilities they might not have, and it’s cheaper than a field trip. But he makes sure it’s popular with kids, too.

“I want the kids first of all to have a good time,” he said.

Almost 5,000 students have worked in the center since September, when the new labs were unveiled, he said.

Family Resource Coordinator Erica Scott brought the center to the school. She and Webb said it was a way to boost science lessons in the classroom.

“This is a way to incorporate math and science but make it fun for the kids,” Scott said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.