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Stanislaus students teach hands-on science to local youth
chemistry class pic1
A CSU Stanislaus student assists her group by measuring with a string the length of the balloon. The children observed chemical reactions by mixing Alka-Seltzer in different temperatures of water by using a balloon and a water bottle at the Turlock Salvation Army. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

California State University, Stanislaus students put the fun in chemistry on Tuesday when they assisted dozens of children in performing science experiments at the Turlock Salvation Army summer program. The college students and younger children used ordinary household ingredients to demonstrate the use of science in real life.

“The program not only engages young students in the sciences but it also gives them a chance to work with current university students as well,” said Koni Stone, professor of chemistry at CSU Stanislaus.  “These five students are juniors and seniors who are working towards their liberal studies degree.  This is a perfect way for them to interact with children in a fun and exciting way,” she said.

Stone, an educator at CSU Stanislaus for 18 years, spent 13 years traveling to elementary schools in Turlock to engage young students in fun-filled science experiments.

“This is the first year me and my students have participated at the Turlock Salvation Army.  Throughout the years, we have visited Osborn, Crowell, and Walnut (elementary schools),” she said. 

The 22 children, ages 4 through 12, observed chemical reactions by mixing Alka-Seltzer in different temperatures of water using a balloon and a water bottle.

“This science experiment is really fun.  I didn’t know that an Alka-Seltzer pill can make a balloon inflate,” said Ashley Rosas, 9.  “I’ve been coming to the Salvation Army for three weeks now and this is by far, the best activity I’ve done.”

The Turlock Salvation Army offers a summer program for elementary students. The program starts with Vacation Bible School in the morning followed by day camp during the afternoon.

“We are very excited to have the CSU Stanislaus students work with our kids.  This gives the children the opportunity to interact with college students and get them excited about science,” said Commanding Officer of the Turlock Salvation Army Debi Shrum.