Hands-on science program amazing for all ages
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Cathryn Seachrist known as Miss Cathy, the Super Science & Amazing Art lady, brings her goofy world of hands-on science learning to the Dimmick Memorial Library on Tuesday, July 23 from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
"It's amazing to watch kids getting wrapped up in the goofy world of Super Science & Amazing Art," said Cathy Seachrist, who is returning for her seventh year on Tuesday, July 23 from 10 - 11 a.m. at the Dimmick Memorial Library, 54 Broadway in Jim Thorpe.
The Super Science & Amazing Art program is for kids from kindergarten through sixth grade, along with their parents who are often more surprised than their kids at Seachrist's demonstrations.
"Miss Cathy" loves starting the program with a bit a magic, for as science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark observed, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." But sometimes Super Science's magic goes awry and Miss Cathy asks a volunteer to help fix her silly mistakes.
You never know what Super Science oddities will be on the program - she likes to taylor the show to the audience. She is likely to demonstrate flowing fog using dry ice, to pop a cork off the top of a flask, or to make metal sing. If the children are old enough, Miss Cathy invites a few brave volunteers to ride on top of a Bernoulli Hover Craft.
In some programs, she mixes water, liquid soap, coloring and glycerin to make a solution that produces giant bubbles. Other times, she makes, and if the children are old enough, they make their own, cup of slime from polyvinyl alcohol and borax solutions.
"The kids get to smell the chemicals," Seachrist said. "PVA smells a lot like vinegar." By mixing different ratios of PVA and borax, she will show them how to make slime anywhere from very runny or quite rubbery. "That's important for kids who have definite feelings about what slime should feel like."
"Science," said Seachrist, "for some it means boring lectures, impossible tests, and the smell of formaldehyde. Gross! For your kids it could mean excitement, exploration, and achievements."
"Super Science and Amazing Art will allow your child to ask questions, make observations, and find answers all on their own, while having a great time, Seachrist said. "Children will participate in hands-on experiments that will engage and challenge each of them."
Seachrist, a Quakertown native who graduated from Temple University with a major in psychology with no interest in science who became a stay-at-home mom.
A friend, Glen Beitmen from Quakertown, had moved to Florida. Beitmen liked working with kids and with a friend, Ed Gifford, began producing programs for kids that made science fun by integrating eye-opening projects, hands-on demonstrations, and a whacky delivery that usually begins by having the kids sit "crisscross applesauce pretzel legs" on the floor.
Beitmen told Seachrist, "You'll love it. You're going to be good at it and it is something you are going to be able to do." He came up from Florida for a week to give her a crash course in Super Science. "And boom," Seachrist said. "Here we are!"
After having her first child, Seachrist began attending Dimmick Memorial Library's Reading Programs, then became a reader, and later became a coordinator. After starting her Super Science program, she couldn't wait to present it at the Dimmick Memorial Library's Reading Program. This will mark the seventh year that she is presenting the program at the Dimmick.
The Super Science & Amazing Art program is the fifth of seven programs in the Dimmick Memorial Library's 2013 Summer Reading Fun! series. Other programs in this series are: July 16 - Delights with Denege, July 30 - Backstage with Miss Molly, and August 6 - Closing Summer Party.
All programs are free and reservations are not required. For information about the Dimmick Memorial Library's Reading Programs, call: (570) 325-2131 or email: email@example.com.