Fourth annual event raised $2,000 for Cedaroak Park science materials

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: RANDALL FASTABEND - Cedaroak Park Primary School second-grader Zoe Newell made slime during Super Science Saturday. Students explored the solar system, built miniature roller coasters and worked in CSI-inspired crime labs at Cedaroak Park Primary School during Super Science Saturday on Nov. 10.

The fourth annual enrichment program paired about 230 students — kindergarten through fifth grade — from nine primary schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Students worked with teachers from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Audubon Society.

The event happens annually and has grown in size each year. Super Science Saturday organizer Corinn Brown has a second-grader at Cedaroak Park and a sixth-grader at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. She developed the enrichment program to bring attention to sciences in the primary school level and to foster a lifelong interest in science.

“Primary schools mostly focus on basic literary and math skills, and they should,” Brown said. “Those are the building blocks for everything else. But it means students are getting science only once a week.”

Brown selected curriculum that focused on earth sciences, chemistry, engineering and physics from OMSI’s traveling schools program, which presents educational materials across the state. OMSI teachers taught four one-hour classes.

Brown said classes were appropriate for all primary students, but tailored for specific grade levels. Classes cost $10 each and this year, the event raised $2,000 to fund science materials at Cedaroak Park.

One class featured a portable planetarium show. Another class allowed students to design and test their own marble roller coaster complete with loops and jumps. The “Cowabunga Chemistry” class allowed students to perform chemical reactions and make slimy concoctions. The crime lab class taught students to test fingerprints, footprints and fibers to catch a criminal.

“We had a lot of parents stay with their little ones and have a fun science experience,” Brown said.

This year, Super Science Saturday also paired with the Portland Audubon Society. Students learned to identify birds around their home and school, and worked in lab teams to study avian bones, wings, feet, feathers, nests and eggs of birds across the Pacific Northwest.

Based upon the event’s continued success, Brown is considering hosting the event multiple times a year.

“There is definitely a desire from parents to host more science-related events,” Brown said. “It’s fun to see some kids come out of the event saying, ‘Chemistry was my favorite class.’”

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