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Making learning addictive: Oak Harbor students receive fun intro to high school

By REBECCA OLSON
Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
November 14, 2012 · Updated 3:59 PM
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Oak Harbor High School took on a festive air Thursday as students in elementary and middle schools and their families were treated to an evening of science demonstrations, live music, carnival games and art.

Festival! Oak Harbor Schools allows students and families from all schools to experience and get excited about what Oak Harbor High School has to offer. High school students and teachers opened their classrooms to the community and demonstrated everything from turning pennies into “gold” to building Lego robots.

“It’s fun,” 12-year-old Taylor Jackson said of showing the products of the Lego Robotics Club to younger students. Taylor helped 5-year-old Riley Jackson and 9-year-old Tiana Jackson work a robot that propelled a Lego dog across the table. Taylor said he hopes visitors to the event become interested in building robots.

In the Career-Tech building, Grason Button, 9, was excited to see a number of cars in the automotive classroom.

“It’s awesome!” he said, looking under cars and running around them.

Down the hall, Keenan Davila introduced younger students to metal design class. The 11th-grade student worked on a pendant.

“This is a very fun class. If they ever come up to this level, it will be an interesting thing to do in high school. It’s one of my favorite electives,” Davila said, adding that it also offers skills that can be used in industry like jewelry design.

The science classrooms were a hit as families crowded in to watch static electricity make science teacher Jonathan Frostad’s hair stand on end, beakers bubble with colorful liquids and potato chip cans explode.

Tami Adcock boosted 5-year-old Noah so he could blow bubbles into a tank of dry ice. To the pair’s surprise, the bubbles levitated — a neat trick caused by the dry ice evaporating, high school students explained.

“It sounded like fun seeing what’s going on in the rest of the school district,” Tami said as Noah ran to the next science experiment, excited despite the many years before he goes to high school.

Niyah, 10, and Xavier Reid, 4, were awed by a science demonstration that turned pennies into gold. While they hoped it was real gold, it was actually just brass, the product of the combination of the zinc and copper of the penny. The children donned goggles and held their pennies over a flame before cooling them in water. Holding her newly gold penny, Niyah said that was her favorite part of the evening.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. She said she’s excited about attending the high school in the future, where her mom went to school.

“I’m looking forward to doing like different classes like the TV class I saw,” Niyah said.

The culinary program offered a treat — or three. Soup, hot chocolate — complete with homemade marshmallows — and cookie decorating put smiles on many children’s faces.

Smiles were everywhere in Oak Harbor High School as children enjoyed the Key Club carnival, tasted cafeteria food, starred on Wildcat TV, watched first through eighth grade choirs and middle school bands perform and more, giving them a positive first taste of high school academics.

 


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