More than 300 students, siblings and parents recently attended the third annual Family Science Night at Perkins Elementary School in Newark.
The 90-minute event sponsored by Perkins School PTA featured hands-on stations in three areas pertaining to life cycles of insects, properties of matter, understanding forces, hurricane damage, anatomy, understanding simple machines, wind power and building a catapult.
Newark High School biomedical sciences teacher Shawn Flanagan, a state-certified paramedic and director of junior membership for Newark EMS, participated in the event with juniors Elizabeth Lang, Dylan Wong and Jaiden Hernandez. The students demonstrated the use of computer technology to learn about heart and lung function.
Flanagan demonstrated how mammalian lungs work and let kids touch, with gloves, actual sheep lung tissues while they “inhaled” and “exhaled.”
Ruffalo Enterprises, of Newark, demonstrated their water filtration process with their equipment, along with their mascot, Droplet.
Julia Anello started Family Science Night in 2016. The event expanded this year to include Lincoln and Kelley schools.
“I was so thrilled to have Lincoln and Kelley schools get involved this year,” Anello said. “Having such a great turnout tells me that Perkins PTA is really onto something with Science Night. This event really defines family engagement — parents and caregivers work one-on-one with the students doing experiments, and we’re truly building community here in the school.
“STEM is such a major focus in school curriculum, and this event really emphasizes all aspects. Teachers getting involved in a setting outside of their normal classrooms is an amazing opportunity for our Newark families.
“Having all three schools’ students here working together builds a synergy of excitement. My ultimate goal is to build this event into one that encompasses the entire district, with a science night of experiments for all students and a science fair for the middle and high school students.”