Science Night at Harris has students teaching students
SPRUCE PINE – Eighth-graders at Harris Middle School made science come to life this past Thursday at the school’s fourth annual Science Night.
Under the guidance of Harris science teacher Sam Sirois, student volunteers ran several unique stations for visiting elementary school students.
The event is the result of a grant from the North Carolina Science Festival. The program is designed for elementary school students but in all other schools in the state, is run by adult volunteers.
Sirois said she saw the opportunity to have her students lead the program and it has paid off. Harris is the only school in the state that utilizes student volunteers.
“I thought my kids would enjoy doing it,” she said. “They volunteer for it. There’s nothing assigned and they don’t get extra credit for it.”
Prior to the event, the students selected their stations and spent hours learning about their subjects so they could properly instruct the younger students.
Some stations allowed students to drop items with a parachute attached to demonstrate gravity while others featured snakes and turtles. Students also got hands-on with magnetic painting and marshmallow towers.
“They gave up some of their time during the day to come learn, train and become experts on their stations,” Sirois said. “They set it all up and run it.”
Isaac Holmes, one of the eighth-grade volunteers, said he enjoyed volunteering and teaching.
“It’s neat,” he said. “I love volunteering but it’s especially cool to be able to volunteer here. It’s fun. It’s a good experience for the kids but it’s a good learning experience for us, too.”
Sirois said her students make her proud each year with their commitment to science night.
“I love seeing them taking a leadership role,” Sirois said. “Every year, I always have an abundance of students who really step up.”