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Annual Family Math and Science Night at Smith Elementary ( 2006 )

Smith Elementary, 2006 NCLB – Blue Ribbon School, held their 5th Annual Family Math and Science Night on Tuesday, October 17th. The event was organized by campus science representatives with the help of FISD Elementary Science Facilitator, Melanie Cornelius; Elementary Science Instructional Specialist, Micki Karlan; and Elementary Math Specialist, Laura Booker.

The event was an overwhelming success, drawing in a crowd of close to 375 students, plus parents and other family members. During the evening, students were invited to take part in faculty guided, hands-on learning experiences in the areas of math and science. Students from Centennial High's Interlock Club and Ms. Rebecca Carlock's Chemistry class performed demonstrations for attendees in classrooms. Titan TV was present to cover the event which aired on Centennial High News.

According to Shannon Acosta, Smith first grade teacher, there were over 50 learning stations and demonstrations to visit during the evening. These activities ranged from exploring bubbles to learning about states of matter and forensics. For some students, this was the first opportunity of this type to discover hands-on learning with their family. Evan Balle, a new student to Smith Elementary said, "I thought it was fun! We didn't have Family Math and Science Night at my old school." All students in attendance seemed to be in agreement with Evan, hands on discovery and learning is meaningful and exciting.

There were clearly some favorite activities of the evening. The “It’s the Slime of Your Life” demo, which involved making “slime” with polyvinyl alcohol and Borax, was a top student choice. Colin Tuite, a Smith Third grader, liked this one the best. "I thought it was gross but cool.....you get to make slime!” he said. Others, like students Faith Hopkins, Rayce Elliot and Elisa Ballew, enjoyed riding on the hovercraft in the gym. Some students expressed that “The Science of Lightening” demonstration of the Van de Graaf generator was a “shocking” success. Student Schyler Cordero stated, "My favorite part was when you touched an orb and then get to shock other people instead of you being shocked." Preston Tang liked it because it made his hair stand “straight up!"

The overall goal of the evening was to see kids excited about learning math and science. If the looks on their faces and their pleading with parents to stay a little bit longer are good indicators, then that goal was achieved one hundredfold. While Smith’s Family Math and Science Night came to an end much too soon for most, it was clear to see that students who attended left with greater knowledge than they came with and a desire to find out more.