The Examiner

Byram Hills Science Department Hosts Night of Fun

We are part of The Trust Project
AP Physics students Jesse Bauer and Allison Kitain use a tube of flames to demonstrate the resonance of sound waves.
AP Physics students Jesse Bauer and Allison Kitain use a tube of flames to demonstrate the resonance of sound waves.

Making elephant toothpaste, turning pennies to “gold,” and juggling with fire were just some of the science demonstrations that Wampus fifth graders witnessed lat Tuesday, May 15, when the Byram Hills High School science department put on a flashy, noisy and even tasty display of some of the thrills that science has to offer at the district’s annual Fifth Grade Science Night.

For an action-packed two hours students played catch with bags of milky ingredients to make ice cream, competed in junk yard wars to engineer a way across a room and found candy using GPS devices. They saw liquids change color, blocked their ears from loud explosions and some even held fire in their hands.

More than 70 percent of Wampus fifth graders participated in the optional event put on by high school science teachers and their students. Word is out that this is a not-to-be-missed activity; Nicole Meyer said she chose to attend because her older sister “loved it” two years ago.

“It’s kind of exciting,” said Max Jarl as he watched a penny change from bronze to silver to gold in a demonstration of chemical plating. Alex Robbins agreed, “I hope science is like this in middle school,” she said.

Scores of high school students spent the evening demonstrating the experiments and guiding the fifth graders through a series of six activities. Junior Rose Arditi said the experience “definitely” has a positive impact on fifth graders’ opinions of science. “I know I joined chemistry because of what I’d seen at Fifth Grade Science Night,” she said.

While the students were clearly thrilled by each activity, it was the Whiz Boom! room that really drew the oohs and aahs. With skills of a circus act, AP Chemistry students churned out one experiment after another; they demonstrated how a jet pack could work, juggled with fiery balls, exploded wax, and had liquids “magically” change color.

They were eager to share their knowledge of science. “It’s not magic,” Lizzie Klein told students in the Alchemy room. “It’s actually chemistry. Everything has a scientific explanation.”

“Fifth Grade Science Night is a terrific event to afford fifth graders,” said Byram Hills Science Department Chairperson Debra Cayea. It’s a great opportunity to show them science in action and provide them with an idea of what they can look forward to in middle school and high school.”

Fifth grade teacher Amy Passman said her students love the event and, as junior Andrew Kim demonstrated a fiery experiment known as the Methane Mamba, she admitted, “We can’t compete with this in fifth grade!” But, she said, it’s not too dull back in the fifth grade science classrooms. “We’re studying the human body, which the students love.”

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.