Sprout Club children become mad scientists

« Canfield Neighbors


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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Lynn Zocolo, an educator at Mill Creek Park, hosted the park's Sprout Club event at the Fellows Riverside Garden.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Children listened as educator Lynn Zocolo explained the experiments the children would be doing during the Sprout Club's mad science event on Dec. 13.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Mill Creek Park educator Lynn Zocolo ran experiments with 3-5 year-olds at the park's Sprout Club event to see if certain items sink or float on Dec. 13.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Grant held a jingle bell during Mill Creek Park's Sprout Club event, and tried to determine whether the item would sink or float on Dec. 13.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Lynn Zocolo, a Mill Creek Park educator, showed students how corks float in water at the park's monthly Sprout Club event.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Mill Creek Park hosted its monthly Sprout Club meeting on Dec. 13. Park educator Lynn Zocolo ran the event, with a mad science theme.

“We are doing science experiments,” Zocolo said. “If they get a little dirty, that’s even better.”

Sprout Club is a program for preschool-age students, with themes changing month to month. For this program, children got to perform a number of science experiments. Those included testing whether items will sink or float, blowing up ivory soap in the microwave and creating “elephant tooth paste,” according to Zocolo.

“They are all going to wear goggles and they will be able to play with all of that stuff,” she said.

Children were also able to create a fizzy Jell-O experiment and examine a “magic leak proof bag.”

“We will fill a regular plastic bag with water and put pencils through it and it will not leak,” Zocolo said. “It gets them that hands on learning experience.”

During each event students get a special treat, this month being a special concoction of Jell-O and ice cream.

“I don’t go into any of the science behind all this because they are preschoolers we are just going to have fun,” Zocolo said.

She said that it helps get students thinking about science concepts down the road.

“I see some children at their very first class they are so shy and about half way through they get excited and say ‘Ms. Lynn I did this, or that.’”

The class is part of a three part series, at the end of which children receive a trinket from the park for their graduation.

“We have fun, and that’s what I want for them, just to have fun,” Zocolo said.

Next month’s programs are ice cream and beaver themed.

“I always have a wonderful group of volunteers that help,” Zocolo said. “That’s very important because I need all the help I can get.”

For information on upcoming Sprout Club events, go to www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

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