On February 23, 2010, the SPU Physics Department hosted 56 enthusiastic fifth-grade students and their chaperones from Maple Elementary School on SPU’s campus for a college immersion day.
The day’s programs were funded by a generous grant from the Huston Foundation. The Physics Department, the SPU Art Center, and the SPU Library collaborated to make the day extra-special for the elementary students.
Thirty-two SPU students — a group of elementary pre-service teachers and physics learning assistants — led activities throughout the day, including a game about the water cycle and some physics laboratory explorations. In the afternoon, the group visited the SPU Art Center Gallery to see an exhibit called “Visions From the Robopocalypse.”
The elementary students’ were inquisitive and excited, which encouraged the students’ SPU hosts. Several of the students said they were surprised at how much fun science lessons could be. And all the students were impressed with the Gwinn Commons dining hall — a place of unlimited French fries!
Excerpts from the Maple Elementary students’ thank-you letters to the Physics Department
“My favorite part was everything. The robots, the computers and everything. I hope this will be my University when I grow up.”
“I also like the part where we did the water cycle game outside. I didn’t know that a water droplet could stay in the ocean for so long. The robot art gallery was fun too, about the dancing robot.”
“I had a lot of fun and learned more about the water cycle. I also enjoyed the physics lessons. The food at the cafeteria was great. I would like to go to college sooner.”
“I loved coming to SPU. My grandma has not been to a field trip in almost 17 years. She also loved it. The water cycle game was my second favorite. I got 15 ocean beads and 15 cloud beads. It was the best field trip I’ve ever had.”
“Thank you for the all expense paid field trip. The lessons were very fun! My favorite one was the lights and optics. We explored with lasers and rainbows. I felt like James Bond when we explored with the lasers!”