By Stephanie L. Butterfield
The University of Idaho Extension, Washington County, joined the Cambridge Elementary Field Day on Wednesday, May 29. This is the second year the UI Extension has attended the end-of-the year festivity which is an afternoon organized by the school to encourage all kinds of active play. Classes rotate through multiple stations playing games that involve such things as giant parachutes, wet sponges, music and dancing. It’s a time where kids are not required to use their inside voices or sit in their places and is perfect time for hands-on learning.
Stephanie Butterfield and Ronnell Chavarria from UI Extension, accompanied by volunteer Larissa Cheney, first grade teacher from Twin Falls, provided an opportunity for the youth to immerse themselves in hands-on STEM learning with a station dedicated to the concept of “Surface Tension”! If you are child from Cambridge, you now know that this means lots and lots of bubbles. The students were able to try different techniques for blowing bubbles and different formulas for making bubbles to determine how surface tension was affected. They learned lots of bubble facts, like bubbles last better in the cold and can be kept for long periods of time in a refrigerator, but heat will cause the bubbles to burst very quickly. The youth were able to try their hands at a little technology as well, creating their very own bubble wands to see what shapes and sizes made the best bubble blowing tools. One very creative student determined that the materials on hand were not working to his satisfaction and fashioned a bubble wand out of long, smooth grass that worked amazingly well. The favorite of most of the students, however, was the GIANT bubble created by dipping a hula hoop into a wading pool of bubble solution. The wind interfered with this process a little, but all of the kids had great fun trying this experiment.
UI Extension, Washington County would like to thank Principal Vowel for inviting us to join the field day again this year, the support of the teachers and staff and the participation of the students. It was lots of fun, and we hope each child has a different understanding of the bubbles they see—whether they be in their bread or their bathwater!