Science festival stimulates, answers questions

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Do you ever wonder how the police collect fingerprints from a crime scene, how genes make you who you are, and when a snake hibernates?

All those mysteries are going to be revealed at a science festival Thursday evening at Juneau-Douglas High School.

Three teachers - Karen Goodell, Connie Tracy and Ben Collman - put together the festival, featuring presentations ranging from the U.S. Forest Service to the Juneau Police Department.

The teachers went through training at the Alaska Science Consortium last summer.

"Our assignment was to put up a science fair," said Goodell, a second-grade teacher at Harborview Elementary. "We thought, why don't we try something bigger than a fair and combine all our energy?"

The Juneau School District has invited the Imaginarium, a science discovery center from Anchorage, to the festival. The Imaginarium will bring interactive activities to help children understand the functions of hearts and brains. Children also can learn the principles of physics from the center's specialized toys.

The U.S. Forest Service will present information on bears and fish. Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search will explain the techniques of dog searches and rescues. Rich Culver, a third-grade teacher from Harborview, will show his snakes. Culver's daughter, Lindzey, will show a short movie she produced on the birth of a snake.

"Many of these activities are hands-on and minds-on," Goodell said. "Science is fun. We want to teach kids to think and wonder why. Their minds are wondering. Their hands are doing."

• I-Chun Che can be reached at

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