Science Night Saturday


Rachel Kreiger, Cohort V, expertly worked the reptile room. Ask her the difference between poisonous and venomous animals!

Bridgewater College Physics Professor (and vermiculture enthusiast) Deva O’Neill coordinated Science Night Saturday as a first annual public event “… for children ages four through 12 and their families to explore the world of science …”

Held on Saturday, November 12 from 4-6PM at the College’s McKinney Center for Science and Mathematics, members of the HMN Cohort V Basic Training class as well as other chapter members joined Bridgewater College science clubs and faculty in hosting displays and activities to engage and excite young (and older) minds.

Activity and demonstration stations were spread all over the three floors of the building. See below for a full listing of the stations.

Bridgewater College generously hosts the HMN Basic Training classes this year in room 124 of the McKinney Science Center .


Allen Baker, Cohort V, shown above, spent Science Night Saturday helping to host the “Murder Mystery” along with Peggy Plass, Cohort IV. Thanks to Peggy for the photo and Allen for his description of the activity here:

“… (Five) Bridgewater College students (working the station) had collected a group of fish consisting of some that were more tolerant of poor water conditions and some that were less tolerant.  Then they created ‘Bridgewater Creek’ and ‘Eagle Creek’ in two separate aquariums.  One was staged to be ‘polluted’ by placing mostly tolerant species in it.  The other was staged to be ‘unpolluted’ by having primarily intolerant species present.

Each child was given a fish identification sheet, and a tally sheet for each tank to aid them in their research.  The mystery to be solved by the children was to determine, based on the tolerance levels of the fish present in each tank, which waterway was polluted.

As it turned out, by simple dumb luck, the water in the ‘unpolluted’ creek was more cloudy than the ‘polluted’ one.  That made it a bit tougher than originally planned, as some kids determined that one to be polluted based on the water clarity alone.

A number of kids spent a great deal of time working on their charts.  While others blasted through as if it was simply an item to be checked off on a list.  Some, usually the younger ones, were just interested in looking at the fish.

I thought it was a really creative way to engage the kids.  They had to first identify the fish, then chart them based on their tolerance level.  Finally they had to draw a conclusion based on their findings.  Of course the fish performed their shenanigans throughout.  It was a fun project.”


Stephanie Gardner, HMN Transferee, spent Science Night Saturday in the Fossil Fun room.

She says: “We had:
• Fossils on display from the Reuel B. Pritchett Museum Collection at Bridgewater College
• Bridgewater College Public History Club students doing hands on paleontology interpretive activities with children
• A visit from the library’s very own T. rex!”

Stephanie with T. rex are in photo at left.


Saber-toothed cat skull with other fossils in photo at right. Thanks to Stephanie for the photos from this activity.

List of Activity Stations

First Floor
Live Animals (Turtles, Snakes, Fish, Invertebrates),  Biological Mysteries, Skulls, & More
• Volcano Madness
Make a volcano erupt, see real eruptions, touch real volcanic rocks!
• Sharks
• Snakes and Turtles and ‘Gators – Oh My!
• Water Pollution: A Fish Murder Mystery


Cheryl Shull, Cohort V, and participant Art Fovargue examine a flat-headed mayfly larva using special imaging equipment in the Bug room.

• Glow-in-the-dark Bacteria and Build-A-Bug

2nd Floor
Electricity, Computers, Technology, & Baby Chicks
• Programming with Alice and Scratch
• Virtual Reality
• Static Electricity
• Live Baby Chicks – newly hatched
• 3D Printing

3rd Floor
Brains, Fossils, Slime & Kitchen Chemistry
• Making Gummy and Gloppy Slime
• Chemistry Demos
Making Gak / Painting with Household Acids and Bases
• Natural Dyes
Taste the Pancakes of Seussville
• The Science of Star Trek
• Close Contact with Brains
• Geology
• Fossil Fun
Hatch a Baby Dinosaur *  Saber-toothed cat skull and mastodon tooth
  Make Your own Fossil Imprints * Hold the Ammonite
  And a special visit from the library’s very own T. rex