Explosive science captivates students


January 09, 1998|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IMAGINE a flower shattering like glass. Is it possible to blow a paint can lid off by a flour explosion? Can a steel pipe burst when filled with water and frozen?

These, as well as other basic principles of chemistry, were demonstrated to fourth-graders Wednesday during "Marc's ,X Groovy Science" at Winfield Elementary School.

Marc Clayton, 41, brought his traveling science show to the elementary school in hopes of getting the children excited about science. The program was designed to enhance a chemistry unit the fourth-graders are studying.

The science show is sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where Clayton is an engineer.

Clayton, who lives in Laurel, takes his show on the road every two weeks to schools across the state. He has traveled to about 50 schools. More than 10,000 students have seen his show.

Clayton realized he had a talent for explaining science after a 50th-anniversary party at the laboratory.

It was during the party that Clayton first presented his science show to employees and their families, receiving rave reviews.

"I realized that I have a knack for bringing science down to earth for most people," Clayton says.

He likes to teach science in a way that isn't onerous, but involves "good common sense."

"The kids couldn't get enough," said Patty Cullop, the school's PTA cultural arts chairwoman. "The louder the explosion, the more they wanted."

The highlight of the program came when Clayton, demonstrating the principles of combustion, shot a sponge from a tube over the children's heads. They loved it so much, he shot it again.

Recycle holiday items

All the colorful Christmas decorations and trimmings that made the holiday season so festive during December turn into a lot of extra garbage this month.

People can help eliminate excess waste and keep the environment clean by taking time to recycle Christmas cards and trees.

St. James Episcopal Church, 204 N. Main St., Mount Airy, will take cards. The church donates the cards to an Episcopal church in Otaru, Japan, where they are recycled into new cards.

Proceeds from card sales have helped the Japanese parish put a new roof on its church and do some painting.

St. James church asks residents to drop off used cards through the end of the month. Only the front is needed.

The town of Mount Airy is offering residents Christmas tree curbside collection on Wednesday.

People may recycle trees at Twin Ridge Industrial Park on Rising Ridge Road.

The fenced compost site is open from 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow and Jan. 17, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 18, and from 1 p.m. to dusk Tuesday and Thursday. All ornaments and tinsel should be removed.

Information: card recycling, St. James Church, 301-829-0325; tree recycling, Mount Airy Town Hall, 410-795-6012.

Sports registration

With the holidays barely behind us and only a few days into the new year, baseball season seems too far away to imagine.

But spring will be here before we know it.

Mount Airy Youth Athletic Association is gearing up for its spring baseball program. Several registration dates have been scheduled. MAYAA is also accepting registrations for other spring sports, including travel soccer, clinic soccer, T-ball and girls' softball.

Boys and girls ages 6 to 18 are invited to register to play baseball. Practice is expected to begin in March, and games are played April through June.

All registrations will be held at Mount Airy Middle School, 102 Watersville Road.

Registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 17 and 24, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The cost for baseball is $65 per child; a birth certificate is required to register.

Registration fees for other sports are: travel soccer, $55; clinic soccer, $35; T-ball, $35; and girls softball,$55.

Information: Bob Landsman, at 301-829-0263.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/09/98

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