Students Stimulated by Science; Middle and High Schools Feature Exhibits, Projects at Museum of Science and History

Article excerpt

Byline: GREGORY PIATT, The Times-Union

Science was cool Saturday at Explorathon 2003, which featured chemistry projects and demonstrations by hundreds of Northeast Florida middle and high school students.

About 550 people attended the Explorathon at the Museum of Science and History in downtown Jacksonville. In its 10th year, the Explorathon had mostly student exhibitors, but the city and some companies also had displays at the daylong event.

There were cardboard display signs, Styrofoam models and beakers of colorful liquids.

Students sporting safety goggles stood behind tables performing experiments and answering questions. Boys and girls mingled through the labyrinth of tables of the science fair and the museum's permanent exhibits.

Some stopped at the tables and watched other students perform experiments named "fundamental space biology," "oxygen and you," and "ghost crystals."

One of those onlookers was E'lisa Cornelius, a seventh-grader at Darnell-Cookman Middle School in Jacksonville.

"I think [the Explorathon] is informational," Cornelius said after looking at an exhibit. "It lets me know how things work and come to be."

And Cornelius' favorite exhibit?

"The one that drops down the [carbon dioxide] bubbles," she said.

The carbon dioxide exhibit came from the Science Club at Bishop Kenny High School and seemed to be the favorite of many visitors.

Using frozen carbon dioxide, better known as dry ice, students would put it into a 2-liter plastic bottle, pour water into it and hook it up to a plastic pipe apparatus that looked like a homemade bathroom shower pipe. …