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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Kids launched pumpkins, made dragon’s breath flames, played with numbers, made snow, learned about the human body, saw molten glass poured at almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and were amazed by strong magnets at Coe College’s annual Playground of Science last month.
Coe College physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, math, computer science and Reserve Officers' Training Corps clubs lead the fun in Peterson Hall on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. The annual event is designed to teach kids of all ages about the sciences.
Maggie Christiansen, a senior at Coe College, said there is data indicating kids begin to lose interest in science in middle school. She hopes events like this capture their imagination and intrigue in the field — especially young girls who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Kids explored different animal species through bones, including chimpanzee and warthog skulls, and even got to pet — or hold if brave enough — a live Madagascar Hissing cockroach.
Kids could touch preserved human lungs and a human heart. Katie Ameku, a sophomore at Coe College, lead a demo using lasers to pop ballots.
At another booth, kids built contraptions to see if they could keep an egg in tact during an egg drop test for which a ridiculous amount of eggs were purchased. Students had the option to use recycled materials including twist-ties, cocktail straws, Popsicle sticks, cotton balls and string.
Assistant professor of physics Caio Bragatto said up to 1,500 attend each year. This is the first year the event has been held since the start of the 2022 pandemic.
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