Students conduct, view experiments at BPC family science festival


By Jennifer Vaughn


Area students and their families were given the opportunity recently to conduct numerous experiments during the family science festival Oct. 19 at Brewton-Parker College.

The event was the second science event this semester involving collaboration between the Brewton-Parker and the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center. A student rocketry program was completed on Sept. 28.

Fifty-five people registered, and several others attended, from Montgomery, Truetlen, Wheeler and Appling county schools along with several home-schooled children from the Vidalia area.

Each student went to at least 10 tables, conducted the experiments and collected tickets in order to qualify for the free family lunch. BPC students designed many of the tables with the different science experiments.

Seven of the tables with experiments were supervised by chemistry students from Dr. Christopher Jones' classes, while six of the tables held experiments supervised by 12 students from Skye Jordan's early childhood science and math methods class in the division of education.

Student and faculty volunteers from Brewton-Parker, as well as Deborah Kirz, Heart of Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center (HGYSTC) coordinator from Eastman, supervised the rest of the tables.

Following the experiments, Jones, Brewton-Parker associate professor of chemistry, treated the participants to chemistry demonstrations. The students and their families were then treated to lunch in the BPC snack bar.

From the Brewton-Parker division of math and science, faculty volunteers included Ann Calhoun, assistant professor of physics and mathematics; Dr. Miriam George, professor of biology; Sherra Durden, assistant professor of mathematics; Jones; Dr. Marvin McClendon, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. David McMillin, division chair and professor of biology; and Forrest Rich, assistant professor of mathematics.

Jordan, assistant professor of education, was the division of education's volunteer.

Teachers from Montgomery County Elementary and Middle School that volunteered were Mary McMillin from the elementary school and Greg Palmer and Melissa Winge from the middle school.

Freshman students from Rich's freshman seminar class that assisted were Joy Osemiha, Matthew Benefield, David Zammitt and Rebekah Russell. Other BPC students included Jason Waters and Mark Stokes.

Students from Jones' chemistry classes that helped with the seven science tables listed with their experiments were: Amanda San U (balloon blow-up), Jeffery Carey (baking soda rockets), Alissa Vogt (falling spheres), Marsha Dyer (what's for breakfast: the incredible, edible...iron?), Joy Osemiha (outrageous ooze), Jennifer Cox (make your own glitter globe) and Henry Jones (magic signs).

Students from Jordan's early childhood science and math methods class that helped with six experiments included: Cathy Bondurant, Tim Gardner and Shelly Horton (action-reaction); Jessica Eernisse and Val Walker (diffusion of molecules); Lee Ann Jones and Frannie Lowrey (geysers); Annie Chavis (wind); Sheila Hall (Silly Putty/matter); and Donna Leggett, Sheila Outler and Sam Richardson (water).

Kirz from HGYSTC also helped and donated supplies for the booths.

Community donors provided the supplies, food and food services. These donors included the Bank of Soperton, Mt. Vernon Auto Supply, Soperton Pharmacy, and Factory Outlet, which provided donations of money.

Ruth Underwood and her staff from Aramark Food Services at Brewton-Parker prepared and served the donated food from suppliers. Aramark provided some of the food along with other companies. Derst Baking Company, Lyons Division, provided food donation while Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company in McRae provided soft drinks.

Dr. McMillin said because of the success of the joint events this semester, plans are being made for one or two more events during the spring semester.


Dr. Christopher Jones (right), associate professor of chemistry at Brewton-Parker College, draws a captive audience during the college's recent family science festival for his experiment of mixing two clear liquids to form a milky solution of lead hydroxide.

(Photo by Mark Stokes)