Up­per More­land li­brary cel­e­brates science, learn­ing

The Willow Grove Guide - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

cburns@mont­gomerynews.com Chil­dren at Up­per More­land Pub­lic Li­brary rolled their tongues and stud­ied their eye color to un­der­stand what traits were. In this year ’s Glax­oSmithK­line and the Franklin In­sti­tute’s Science in the Sum­mer pro­gram, chil­dren in Mont­gomery County learned about ge­net­ics and what makes them unique.

“It’s a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for chil­dren to ex­pe­ri­ence science,” Up­per More­land chil­dren’s li­brar­ian Jim Mo­ran said. “Science doesn’t have to be dull.”

As part of the pro­gram this year, chil­dren grades two through six learned how traits are passed from par­ent to RIIVSULQJ, KRw WR WDNH fiQJHUSULQWV DQG how foren­sics helps solve crimes. Stu­dents even solved their own mys­tery of who took the li­brary book by ex­am­in­ing a va­ri­ety of ev­i­dence.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” 7-year-old Robert Quinn said. “I like it be­cause there’s a bunch of ex­per­i­ments.”

“It en­ables stu­dents to learn science at an early age,” in­struc­tor Michael Podol­sky said. “We are al­ways look­ing for good sci­en­tists. This pro­gram ex­poses them at an early age to science con­cepts and fact with the hope that in the fu­ture they will pur­sue it.”

3RGROVNy VDLG DQRWKHU EHQH­fiW RI WKH pro­gram is it draws chil­dren into the li­brary and shows them there isn’t just fiFWLRQ ERRNV EuW DQy WRSLF WKHy FRuOG want to learn more about. To make this con­nec­tion, Podol­sky and Mo­ran set out books through­out the class­room on ge­net­ics and sub-top­ics, such as fiQJHUSULQWLQJ DQG WUDLWV.

“It’s im­por­tant to get stu­dents in here to use the li­brary,” Podol­sky said. “It’s a good source for them. We want stu­dents to come back and use the li­brary.”

This is the 27th year Glax­oSmithK­line has spon­sored Science in the Sum­mer. There are 128 li­braries across the re­gion that par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, mak­ing it ac­ces­si­ble to nearly 5,000 stu­dents each year. Since its in­cep­tion, Glax­oSmithK­line es­ti­mates 116,000 stu­dents have par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram.

Mont­gomery Me­dia staff photo / CAITLIN BURNS

Robert Quinn, left, and John Franchetti study slides through a mi­croviewer dur­ing Up­per More­land Pub­lic Li­brary’s Science in the Sum­mer pro­gram July 23.

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