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Whitley Forward sponsors engaging introduction to 'mad science' with Sizzlin' Sam

(Talk of the Town photo provided) Sizzling Sam, below at left, provided a riveting program demonstrating how exciting science can be -- all part of the Whitley Forward initiative to encourage educational experiences for children in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

By Margaret Malcolm


Over the last couple of months, across Whitley County, as kids came flying in the door after school, parents heard cries of bubbling green slime, flying toilet paper, a melting head or a creepy fog surrounding them while sitting on the gym floor.  
A real “Mad Scientist” was at work!  All seven elementary schools in Whitley County were paid a visit by “Sizzlin’ Sam” from Mad Science of North Central Indiana located in Indianapolis.  In an hour-plus convocation at each school, students in grades K-5 were delighted and thrilled by science in action.  Their attention was riveted by experiments in chemistry and physics with spectacular results.  Proof that science can be entertaining without losing its educational content.  The Scientist explained, in language young students could understand, the principles behind what they were observing.  The kids were fascinated, and best of all, learning that science can be fun as well as challenging.
Whitley Forward, an initiative of the Whitley County Community Foundation, arranged and paid for the appearance of the Mad Scientist at each of the schools.  Whitley Forward’s goal is promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in our schools and our community.  In the past year, Whitley Forward has also purchased and placed hands-on science exploration kits at all of the pre-schools in the County, financially supported robotics teams and the Project Lead the Way engineering classes at the middle and high schools.  
This summer, Whitley Forward will give scholarships for county students to attend STEM-related summer camps.  
The hope is, by bringing in the Mad Scientist and supplying live ladybugs for pre-schoolers to observe and nurture, that a love of science, experimenting and observing, is instilled in our kids.  All parents and care-givers are encouraged to help foster their kids’ natural curiosities by doing simple science activities with them at home and outdoors, observing and questioning the world around us.  We will all benefit when the new generation of “mad scientists” takes on our complex world.  Please check out www.whitleyforward.com for more information about STEM education and how you can encourage your young people to get aboard the STEM-wave toward the best jobs and the best Whitley County ever.

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