Science to visit SK schools — on wheels

Aptly named “Blood and Guts,” a van carrying hands-on exhibits illustrating the scientific wonders of the human body is sure to interest even the least-scientific of the elementary school crowd.

Blood and Guts is one of five Pacific Science Center Science on Wheels (SOW) educational traveling vans and will visit Olalla, Sidney Glen and South Colby Elementaries later this month.

The SOW program brings more than 25 hands-on science activities and exhibits to elementary and middle schools in Washington state, increasing students’ interest in subjects like anatomy, engineering, physics, astronomy and math.

Blood and Guts will visit South Colby Elementary on Jan. 24, Olalla Elementary on Jan. 25 and Sidney Glen Elementary on Wednesday and Jan. 26-27.

“You apply for them to come,” said South Colby Principal Brian Pickard. “Years ago we had them come and visit.”

According to Pickard, schools have better luck receiving a visit from a van if they apply with other area schools, thus explaining the bus’ week-long stay in Port Orchard.

Pickard said he his interest in the SOW program was renewed when he received a call from Julie Lee, the principal of Sidney Glen Elementary and the schools applied together. Pickard explained that a van stop is an all-day event,

“First thing in the morning there’s an all-school assembly,” Pickard said.

Pickard said that most of the classrooms have “mini-lessons,” 45-minute lessons where students can learn to assemble models of human skeletons, bend light with optic devices, create fossils out of objects in the classroom and practice probability.

There is also an exhibit area much like those at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle set up in the school library.

SOW is funded through a contract with a contract from the Office of the SUperintendent of Public Instruction, a fee collected from participating schools, operating funds of the Pacific Science Center and grants from foundations and corporations.

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