DaVinci Science Center Uses Gross Gunk As a Learning Tool

Making hand sanitizer.
If it stinks, oozes, crusts, or mushes, kids are fascinated. Thanks to a generous grant from the Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, this summer the school-age classes at LVCC's Judith Chase Early Learning Center and LVCC on Union Boulevard discovered the captivating world of body functions with the help of DaVinci Science Center. Bringing their Science on the Move program to the classroom, the DaVinci Science Center explored the "impolite" science of the human body. For seven weeks, the children conducted hands-on experiments with sounds, smells, fluids and body parts in the "Grossology" lessons.

Want to know why you become flatulent after eating? Ask your child! Their exploration of gross sounds and smells had them belching into balloons and testing smell kits.

How can bodily fluids teach science? Children were introduced to biology as they searched for small animal bones, fur and feathers in regurgitated owl pellets. While making troll boogers and dragon toothpaste using household products, the children explored basic chemistry. An experiment with hand sanitizer led to a discussion about germs and microbiology.

Dissecting an owl pellet with toothpicks.
The older school-ages discovered the thrill of forensics. During the dissection of a cow eyeball (demonstrated by the DaVinci educator), a number of "that's so cool!" comments could be heard among the few "ews" and "yucks." After examining bones and simulated organ dissections, the children have a better understanding of anatomy.

The children also took a field trip to the DaVinci Science Center, where their gross exploration introduced them to interactive animatronics and imaginative exhibits. Where else can you make a giant cartoon character belch from a three-foot soda can?

Mr. Steve, DaVinci Science Center educator,
demonstrates a cow eyeball dissection.

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