Weird science


S-C students learn spooktacular scientific principles

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Denise Reyes and Anita Banakh blow bubbles as part of the floating boo balls experiment in an earth science class at Smith-Cotton High School on Tuesday afternoon. Students in teacher Mona McCormack and Kelsey Stewart’s classes conducted a series of experiments using dry ice to test various scientific principles.


Senior Jacob Sherrill demonstrates the shrieking spoon experiment Tuesday afternoon. The students were given eight different experiments to conduct all using dry ice. Teacher Mona McCormick said each year she and fellow teacher Kelsey Stewart do the series of experiments around Halloween because it helps with student engagement and makes the students more likely to remember the information.


From left, Maddy Shive, Bailey Norton and Maegan Reine carefully place their water and dry ice in a plastic bottle as part of the crystal ball experiment. By using the water and dry ice along with dish washing liquid the students could create temporary gazing balls. All three students said they liked the change of pace of doing the experiments and would like to do them more often.


Lourdes Quetzecua films her friend Maria Almazan at the bubble, bubble, toil trouble experiment. Almazan has two science classes this semester and explained the experiment was easier the second time she completed it during the day.


Jacob Gibbs looks at the gazing ball he and his fellow classmates created using dry ice during an experiment at Smith-Cotton Tuesday afternoon. Gibbs said he found the experiments interesting and was pleased he and his classmates were successful in completing the steps needed to carry out the experiments.


S-C students learn spooktacular scientific principles

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Denise Reyes and Anita Banakh blow bubbles as part of the floating boo balls experiment in an earth science class at Smith-Cotton High School on Tuesday afternoon. Students in teacher Mona McCormack and Kelsey Stewart’s classes conducted a series of experiments using dry ice to test various scientific principles.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_tsd102115science1.jpgDenise Reyes and Anita Banakh blow bubbles as part of the floating boo balls experiment in an earth science class at Smith-Cotton High School on Tuesday afternoon. Students in teacher Mona McCormack and Kelsey Stewart’s classes conducted a series of experiments using dry ice to test various scientific principles.

Senior Jacob Sherrill demonstrates the shrieking spoon experiment Tuesday afternoon. The students were given eight different experiments to conduct all using dry ice. Teacher Mona McCormick said each year she and fellow teacher Kelsey Stewart do the series of experiments around Halloween because it helps with student engagement and makes the students more likely to remember the information.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_tsd102115science2.jpgSenior Jacob Sherrill demonstrates the shrieking spoon experiment Tuesday afternoon. The students were given eight different experiments to conduct all using dry ice. Teacher Mona McCormick said each year she and fellow teacher Kelsey Stewart do the series of experiments around Halloween because it helps with student engagement and makes the students more likely to remember the information.

From left, Maddy Shive, Bailey Norton and Maegan Reine carefully place their water and dry ice in a plastic bottle as part of the crystal ball experiment. By using the water and dry ice along with dish washing liquid the students could create temporary gazing balls. All three students said they liked the change of pace of doing the experiments and would like to do them more often.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_tsd102115science3.jpgFrom left, Maddy Shive, Bailey Norton and Maegan Reine carefully place their water and dry ice in a plastic bottle as part of the crystal ball experiment. By using the water and dry ice along with dish washing liquid the students could create temporary gazing balls. All three students said they liked the change of pace of doing the experiments and would like to do them more often.

Lourdes Quetzecua films her friend Maria Almazan at the bubble, bubble, toil trouble experiment. Almazan has two science classes this semester and explained the experiment was easier the second time she completed it during the day.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_tsd102115science4.jpgLourdes Quetzecua films her friend Maria Almazan at the bubble, bubble, toil trouble experiment. Almazan has two science classes this semester and explained the experiment was easier the second time she completed it during the day.

Jacob Gibbs looks at the gazing ball he and his fellow classmates created using dry ice during an experiment at Smith-Cotton Tuesday afternoon. Gibbs said he found the experiments interesting and was pleased he and his classmates were successful in completing the steps needed to carry out the experiments.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_tsd102115science5.jpgJacob Gibbs looks at the gazing ball he and his fellow classmates created using dry ice during an experiment at Smith-Cotton Tuesday afternoon. Gibbs said he found the experiments interesting and was pleased he and his classmates were successful in completing the steps needed to carry out the experiments.

If you want a student to understand a process, have them become actively involved in it.

That became abundantly clear Tuesday afternoon for the students in Mona McCormack and Kelsey Stewart’s classes at Smith-Cotton High School as they conducted science experiments using dry ice.

“We’ve done this the past few years as a sort of Halloween tradition,” McCormack said. “It’s a way for the students to get hands-on experience and student engagement while they learn the basics of melting, evaporation, sublimation and concepts on the atmosphere.”

Throughout the day, 10 classes were given the chance to take part in eight Halloween-themed experiments.

With titles like the shrieking spoon, bubble, bubble, toil, trouble, and floating boo balls, the students gained a better understanding of earth science principles and chemistry.

“It’s pretty neat to learn about how everything works and where it comes from,” said senior Jacob Sherrill. “I think it’s really interesting to see the chemical reactions that take place in the experiments.”

Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide that has no liquid stage, McCormick explained to her students in describing sublimation.

“It will go from a solid to a gas with no liquid in between,” she said. “It is negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit and it is so cold it will burn your skin to the touch.

“You can’t buy dry ice in Sedalia any longer; we had to go to Jefferson City this year to purchase it,” McCormack said. “We bought 85 pounds at Hy-Vee but they actually gave us 110 pounds.”

Both teachers, who explained the safety precautions the students needed to take before working with the substance, gave the students a safety presentation.

“One of the things these experiments do is they provide the students the opportunity to follow step-by-step instructions,” Stewart said. “It also helps them develop their critical thinking skills.”

“I really like it when we do experiments like this,” Bailey Norton said. “I am thinking about going into the medical field and so this will help me in my future.”

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

Sedalia Democrat

Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484

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