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Science Fun

CENTRAL POINT — Science can be fun, really, if you package it in walls that glow, magnetic gizmos and bubbles big enough to swallow a fifth-grader.

Students from Jewett Elementary School learned basic science Friday while they played with science-based toys created by high-school freshmen from Crater High School's Academy of Health and Public Services.

Freshmen in Erik Kenner's physical science class were assigned to research a project, build a prototype and create hands-on science toys to teach fifth-graders about the concepts they had learned.

Christian Moreno, 14, helped his group create a contraption they called an "electromagnetic levitator."

"It was kind of difficult to make," he said, "so I felt like we learned a lot from just trying to make it."

Emily Lile, 14, said she enjoyed the process of creating a prototype and learning about it well enough to pass the concepts on to younger students.

"We had to think up an exhibit ourselves and take it all the way through and follow through with getting it ready for the kids," she said.

The fifth-graders were more than happy to leave their classroom for some hands-on science at the high school and what Kenner described as "excited learning."

The high school kids made their exhibits with assistance from the ScienceWorks Museum in Ashland, and the kids recognized the connection.

"It was kind of like a mini ScienceWorks at Crater High School," 11-year-old Lucy Katz said.

"The ninth graders were showing us their science projects," she explained. "My favorite was probably the hovercraft. It was made of wood and they used a leaf blower. You stood in the center and it made you slide around."

The older kids' work clearly inspired the younger kids, if Lucy was any example.

"Next year we might do the same kind of event for the younger grades at our school," she said.

Little did she know that plans are already under way to repeat the event next year, and the freshmen will help the fifth-graders put on their own event for younger students.

Austin Geyer, 11, enjoyed the change of pace from a regular school day and learned about the power of water under pressure on a sunny afternoon.

"I liked the water rocket where it shot really far up in the air," he said. "I think it was a fun thing to be at school and get to go over and have fun with all the stuff they made."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.

Terrance Pruitt, 15, launches a water-powered rocket during the Gizmo Exhibition at the Crater High School’s Academy of Health and Public Services Friday. High school students built science projects that entertained fifth-graders from Jewett Elementary School while they learned. - Jamie Lusch