Home School Science Day

Associate Professor Wayne Bensley and students in the forensic science technology program, in conjunction with the Department of Physical and Health Sciences, recently hosted approximately 90 home schooled children from the Alfred, Almond, and Wellsville areas for Home School Science Day. The children ranged in age from five to 17. For this project-based learning civic engagement assignment, the forensic science technology students were responsible for creating and presenting hands-on workshops in chemistry, biology, anatomy, microbiology, and forensic science for the children. Children could choose two different workshops from the following list:

  • Biology - "The Sweet Cells of Life" - children ages five to 11 made a model of the cell using various candy pieces to represent the organelles.
  • Biology - "Water Slides - Fun for Every Biological Organism" - children ages 12+ used microscopes to study various organisms found in tap and pond water samples.
  • Chemistry - "Ice Cream in a Bag" - children ages five to 11 studied the science behind making ice cream using rock salt and ice cubes.
  • Chemistry - "Making Gak" - children ages 12+ made a sticky, flubber-like substance out of glue and borax.
  • Microbiology - "Not All Bacteria are Bad!" - children of all ages studied various microorganisms under microscopes and learned about some of the differences between harmful and helpful bacteria.
  • Anatomy - "Dem Bonez" - children ages five to 11 learned about the various bones in the human skeleton.
  • Anatomy - "It's All About You" - children ages 12+ studies the various organs in the human body and learned how they all fit together.
  • Forensic Science - "Making Your Mark" - children ages five to 11 learned about the different types of fingerprints and practiced looking at their own inked fingerprints.
  • Forensic Science - "Can You Lift a Fingerprint?" - children ages 12+ used fingerprint powders on various surfaces in an attempt to develop and lift a latent fingerprint.

Derek Wilkinson with skeleton All attending children were also provided with take-home materials to allow them to continue their studies at home.

Alfred State students who participated were: Courtney Cardinal, Chris McAneney, Laura Lampman, Derek Wilkinson, Nicole Drum, Kara Galinsky, Caitlin Cunningham, Emily Sprague, and Cynthia Vogt.

Professor Bensley hopes to make this an annual event each spring semester. Any home-schooled family who would like to receive details regarding next year's event may contact Professor Bensley at benslewd@alfredstate.edu.

In photo, Derek Wilkinson discusses bones in the human body using the skeleton as an example.