Sprout Club children become mad scientists

Mill Creek Park hosted its monthly Sprout Club meeting on Dec. 13. Park educator Lynn Zocolo ran the event, with a mad science theme.

“We are doing science experiments,” Zocolo said. “If they get a little dirty, that’s even better.”

Sprout Club is a program for preschool-age students, with themes changing month to month. For this program, children got to perform a number of science experiments. Those included testing whether items will sink or float, blowing up ivory soap in the microwave and creating “elephant tooth paste,” according to Zocolo.

“They are all going to wear goggles and they will be able to play with all of that stuff,” she said.

Children were also able to create a fizzy Jell-O experiment and examine a “magic leak proof bag.”

“We will fill a regular plastic bag with water and put pencils through it and it will not leak,” Zocolo said. “It gets them that hands on learning experience.”

During each event students get a special treat, this month being a special concoction of Jell-O and ice cream.

“I don’t go into any of the science behind all this because they are preschoolers we are just going to have fun,” Zocolo said.

She said that it helps get students thinking about science concepts down the road.

“I see some children at their very first class they are so shy and about half way through they get excited and say ‘Ms. Lynn I did this, or that.’”

The class is part of a three part series, at the end of which children receive a trinket from the park for their graduation.

“We have fun, and that’s what I want for them, just to have fun,” Zocolo said.

Next month’s programs are ice cream and beaver themed.

“I always have a wonderful group of volunteers that help,” Zocolo said. “That’s very important because I need all the help I can get.”

For information on upcoming Sprout Club events, go to www.millcreekmetroparks.org.

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