Mad, mad science
By Idelle Kerzner Post-Tribune correspondent February 8, 2013 2:28PM
Tanis Schneider, of Dyer, vigorously mixes ingredients to make "Goop" during a science-experiment program held at the Munster Branch of the Lake County Public Library. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
For more information about Lake County Public Library programs, visit www.lcplin.org/. For more information about the Munster Branch, call 836-8450.
With a quick pace, 5-year-old Tony Rotatori dashed through the door of the Munster Branch of the Lake County Public Library.
His mother, Liz, said the library is an exciting place for her son, thanks to children’s librarian Brittany Bosma.
Bosma makes the library an engaging experience, on this day by turning one of the rooms into a science lab filled with wonders for young visitors.
“(Tony) loves science and he loves doing his own experiments,” his mother said.
Tony explains it in a way more telling of a child’s nature. With a giggle, he quips, “You get to use stuff that stains you blue.”
Using hands-on experiments, observation and analysis of results, Bosma set up labs that encouraged children to discuss and record data with other young “scientists.”
“Does anyone have an idea why it does that?” Bosma inquires, after children watch food coloring and a drop of soap detergent blend to form an appealing design on a surface of milk.
“It was really cool,” said 9-year-old Kaelyn Schneider, of Dyer, after watching her blend form a pattern. “It reminded me of a painting that has different colors of blue.”
Kaelyn’s sister, Gretchen, summed up her discovery day with three words, “It was amazing.”
Other experiments included testing acids and bases and litmus paper and discovering the properties of household products.
The reading of “The Secret Science Project” by Judy Sierra sparked comments that touched on classroom management. When the book’s plot revealed a teacher who was being eaten by a monster of slime, one child attending the program remarked
jokingly, “That is what teachers get for being so boring.”
Bosma also educates the children on staying focused. In between scooping up splatters of neon-colored goop and other substances from the floor, Bosma reiterates, “You have to follow directions and listen or things won’t work.”