MHS AP chemistry students show what they learned

MANISTEE — The Kennedy Elementary School third grade classes watched on the edge of their seats as two Manistee High School Advanced Placement Chemistry students prepared an experiment in the school gymnasium for them called elephant toothpaste.

Manistee High School Advanced Placement Chemistry students did their annual program for the third grade students at Kennedy Elementary School. Teacher Ryan O'Donnell does the program every year to inspire an interest in science in the younger students.

Manistee High School Advanced Placement Chemistry students did their annual program for the third grade students at Kennedy Elementary School. Teacher Ryan O’Donnell does the program every year to inspire an interest in science in the younger students.

As one of the high school students poured a chemical into a large beaker, it caused a reaction that sent what looked like giant amounts of toothpaste out of the beaker. The reaction caused another one in the audience as all the elementary students roared with laughter.

The exhibit was all part of a program that Manistee High School chemistry teacher Ryan O’Donnell does for the younger students every year in the spring. O’Donnell hopes the program will pique an interest in the young minds and encourage them to take those classes when they get older.

Advanced Placement Chemistry is the highest level class of that type offered at Manistee High School and it can earn the students college credits. All of the juniors and seniors taking part in Wednesday’s display had already completed their AP testing last week so it was time to have some fun.

“We are doing 12 different demonstrations today,” said O’Donnell. “Kids can see all kinds of stuff on computers and television now days, but they don’t get to see it in real life. I hope this will be exciting for them.”

One of the many things that O’Donnell and the students stress during the demonstrations is safety. All the chemistry students wear safety glasses and use all the necessary protective measures along the way.

“They are fun demonstrations, but it is serious too,” said O’Donnell. “It is not only to show the third graders about safety, but the high school kids would be doing these same things even if they were doing them alone.”

Although the third grade students love every moment of the presentation, O’Donnell said he knows the high school kids get a great deal of enjoyment from it and will remember it forever.

O’Donnell said it is going to be interesting to see the feedback he gets next year from his students.

“The kids we first did it for as third graders years ago are now in 10th grade, so next year will be the first year that a student who saw this demonstration gets to do it,” said O’Donnell.

avatar

Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply