Families enjoy Banner science center's "Summer of Science"
Outside the Banner Creek Science Center southwest of Holton recently, nine-year-old Emberly Stout of Holton brushed the hair on the back of Petey, a miniature horse that was one of two animals that Gary Baldridge of Holton’s G&C Petting Zoo brought to the science center that day.
“The more you brush Petey,” Baldridge told Stout, “the better he likes it.”
Inside the science center, four-year-old Jackson Kibbee, also of Holton, watched as Holly Wendorff made cotton candy.
“Can I do it?” Kibbee asked Wendorff, a volunteer at the science center.
“All right, your turn!” Wendorff replied, giving Kibbee some sugar and showing him how to make his own cherry-flavored cotton candy. When asked what he thought of the cotton candy he’d made, Kibbee said, “It’s gooooood!”
The petting zoo and the cotton candy were two aspects of a day of “exploration stations,” part of the “Summer Of Science” promotion going on this summer at the science center, which was closed last year due to COVID-19.
But as the science center’s education director, Cari Andrews, noted, the exploration stations and other activities planned this summer at the center stand for more than just its reopening.
“We want to provide families an opportunity to explore science together,” Andrews said. “It’s a beautiful setting out here, and there’s so much science out here. It’s critical that we get kids started at an early age just learning about the world around them.”
The exploration stations are being held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday throughout the summer, Andrews said, and in addition to the weekly “special guests” that Baldridge brings to the science center, families will have the opportunity to explore four different “science stations” inside the center.
The cotton candy station, she said, gave kids a chance to learn about chemistry, while a set of Hot Wheels cars and loop-de-loop tracks — another of Kibbee’s favorites — gave them an introduction to the world of “engineering and design.”
There were also stations for “life science” and space science at the center last Wednesday, but Andrews said the nature of the four indoor stations could change from week to week.
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