Children get their fingers dirty at the flowers and worms station during the Science Exploration Fair hosted by the Biology Club at Southern Vermont
Children get their fingers dirty at the flowers and worms station during the Science Exploration Fair hosted by the Biology Club at Southern Vermont College on Sunday. (makayla mcgeeney—bennington banner)

BENNINGTON — The community explored science a few different ways Sunday with guidance from Southern Vermont College Biology Club students.

The club members demonstrated science experiments for children pre-K to sixth grade. Experiments included elephant toothpaste, mini lava lamp bottles, silly putty, static orbs and getting hands dirty in plants with worms. Senior and Biology Club President Chelsey Gallup said the group decided on the various hands-on activities so children would have something in which to participate.

"This is the first year we're doing this," she said. "We brainstormed neat things for kids to do like sensory stuff – site, touch and sound to cover the basis of experiments."

A particularly popular table was where Victoria Cotter generated elephant toothpaste. With the result of mixing water, yeast, peroxide, dish soap and food coloring, the observing children's eyes grew wider as the purple tinted foam crawled out of the beaker and only got larger — earning the animal-like name.

Another table displayed coke cans being heated on a portable hot plate. Once the little amount of water in the cans got really hot, Albert Asamoah used tongs to pick up the can and drop it into a bath of ice water. The sudden change from hot to cold caused the can to crush due to internal pressures.


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"It builds pressure going from hot to cold with the change in environment," he said. "This is the first time we're doing these things with the community. At our meeting we discussed and collaborated on ideas and the president draws the baseline."

Children also created music by tapping on wine glasses with liquid inside, blew nature bubbles, and got their faces painted.

Admission cost $2 per child with a portion of proceeds intended to benefit the Second Chance Animal Center in Shaftsbury and the remainder to go to the club. The event ran from noon to 3 p.m.

Elephant Toothpaste:


Victoria Cotter generates elephant toothpaste with a recipe of house cleaning products and food coloring at the Science Exploration Fair.
Victoria Cotter generates elephant toothpaste with a recipe of house cleaning products and food coloring at the Science Exploration Fair. (makayla mcgeeney—bennington banner)