By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
It was a chance for area students to show what they'd learned about an area of science they like most.
Laura De Cook, a naturalist with the Mahaska County Conservation Board, has been visiting both North Mahaska and Oskaloosa elementary schools recently with science in mind.
Science clubs De Cook met with at both schools each had students present a project of their choosing at Russell Wildlife Area Saturday morning. Students had a chance to meet with De Cook at these science clubs during either their lunch or recess times.
“My whole goal for this was to give kids an opportunity to share their greatest interest in science and nature,” said De Cook. “I wanted them to pick out a topic they're passionate about because it's easy for them to talk about something that they're greatly interested in and this is their opportunity to have listeners and to learn more about their interest.”
In researching for their presentations, students learned about how some adults make these scientific interests a career, explained De Cook.
“So, it's kind of career development,” De Cook said, adding that she told the students that what they would do on presentation day is something she does everyday as a naturalist with MCCB. “I think being able to have a career in something you're extremely interested in is very fulfilling.
I want to give these kids the opportunity to say, you know, 'I really like this topic. I love talking about it. I love reading about it on my own.'”
De Cook said it's great to have support from area teachers and parents in regard to the science clubs.
Carter Parks, a student at Oskaloosa Elementary School, was the first area student to do his presentation Saturday at Russell Wildlife Area. Parks talked about trajectory motion in relation to a radio controlled car and ramp. The project falls under the umbrella of the science of physics.
Parks also demonstrated what his RC vehicle and ramp were capable of by jumping the car off of the ramp a few times for onlookers.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.