On Centre: Penns Valley students assume scientist alter-egos to learn more about biology, physics, chemistry

mcarroll@centredaily.comNovember 4, 2012 

Third-grade students at Rebersburg Elementary School know what it’s like to be a scientist for day.

The Penns Valley Area School District students were introduced Thursday to the scientific method by three Penn State doctoral students.

District officials said students participated in several investigations in biology, physics and chemistry. With Cairsty Grassie, an ecosystems and science management major, the students explored the levels and interdependence of food chains.

Lauren Chaby, a neuroscience major, floated paper clips on the top of water bubbles, showing children the physics of surface tension. Wren Patton, an ecology major, explained the pH scale and identified common household products and their effects on the environment, according to the district’s website.

The Penn State students, in the wildlife and fisheries science department, are members of the Graduate Women in Science program, which is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, according to the district.

The visit wrapped up the grade’s science unit. “Students were introduced to the steps of the scientific method, tasks that scientists do throughout their investigations, and hopefully the self-realization that they too are scientists,” district officials said.

Also in Penns Valley schools: The baby grand piano of a longtime music teacher and elementary band director has returned to the district.

The piano belonged to Roger Boop, who passed away from cancer in 1990. Now 22 years later, his sisters, Linda Decker, of Spring Mills, and Connie Dunklebarger, of York, donated the instrument. Its new home is the music room at Penns Valley Intermediate School.

“Music, kids and Penns Valley ... we believe that Mr. Boop would approve and think it’s the perfect combination,” the district said on its website.

Matt Carroll writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. He can be reached at 231-4631 or mcarroll@centredaily.com.

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