Science Nights from 2015 till Now

In the past two years, we have been able to bring many wonderful presenters to Oak Creek to provide students with an exciting introduction to different fields of science and technology.  Presenters provide students with some background on the evening's topic and then engage the children in an opportunity to learn through related, hands-on activities.  Many evenings, students are able to bring home projects that they have created during the science night. These are very popular events and signups fill up incredibly fast. Adults who volunteer to assist on a specific date are given early access to that date's  signup for students. Calls for volunteers are posted in the Oak Creek Hotsheet one week prior to the release of the student signup. Currently, we are able to accommodate two groups of 25-30 students each science night.  The youngest students meet first, followed by the 4th and 5th graders.

Science of Glass

During this fun and informative workshop, Lisa Wilcke, glass artist, shared information on the science of glass and glass fusion. Students had the opportunity to see and feel glass that had been melted to different temperatures, sort between transparent and opaque pieces of glass, and look at the natural forms of glass. In addition, students learned to cut glass and made two projects. One project was an opaque necklace, the other a transparent window-hanger.

September 18, 2017

Dangerous Decibels with OMSI

Meng Vue, a presenter from OMSI provided an exciting, hands on experience called “Dangerous Decibels”.  According to the OMSI catalog, “With the help of scientific tools, students measure sound, learn about decibels and make models of the inner ear. They also examine how sound travels and learn how to protect their hearing for years to come. Topics include hearing health, physics of sound, sound measurement and anatomy." Students learned how loud sounds can damage the ear.  There were many hands-on activities.  Students experimented with tuning forks, created models of the inner ear, and learned to use a handheld decibel meter.  

April 28, 2017

Chemistry and Potions

Diana Oppenheimer and Emma Reinhart  are students at Oregon State University and University of Portland, respectively. They also work as camp counselors for the Girl Scouts.  During this science night, Diana and Emma worked with students to explore various chemistry experiments.  There were three stations of experiments and children took turns rotating through each station - combining substances to learn about polymer interactions; inflating balloons using a baking soda and vinegar reaction; and solving a mystery by matching unknown solutions to a known solutions  Additionally, there was an "elephant toothpaste" demonstration that made an indelible impression on the memories of all participants (not to mention a lasting reminder on the Makerspace ceiling!)

January 19, 2017

Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine

Denise Slattery is a Certifed Master Recycler with a passion for providing reuse and recycling education to her community, especially school-age kids. She is currently a Mentor / Educator with Tinker Camp, a non-profit organization based in Portland that offers STEAM maker skill-building programs for students grades 3 – 7, as well as professional development for educators and parents seeking to incorporate STEAM education principals into their curriculum.  At this science night, Denise talked with the students about the importance of recycling/reusing and its impact on improving environmental problems.  Children were encouraged to bring recyclable materials from home and think of imaginative ways they could reuse the materials for something useful in their home. For example, could you turn an egg carton into a way to store seeds (from the OCE gardens)?  Could you create something to hold all your plastic bags so that they're easy to get to if you want to reuse them to clean up after your dog when you go for a walk? Each child created his or her own reimagined project using these reusable materials.

November 16, 2016

3D Printing

On this science night, students began to learn about 3D printing and to use Oak Creek Elementary's brand new 3D printer.  The evening was led Chris Rodegerts, a science teacher at LOJ with a strong interest in, and experience with 3D printing.  In addition to building several of his own 3D printers, Chris has led a 3D printing club at LOJ and taught many students to create their own models and projects.  Students were encouraged to design their models using playdoh or modeling clay first, and then work with an age appropriate software program to create their project in 3D. 

September 26, 2016

Mason Bees and Pollination

This science night was led by OCE Science Enrichment co-chairs, Deanne Crone Knipple and Anja Bump. We celebrated Earth Week 2016 by learning all about Mason Bees and the essential work they do for the environment and human survival through pollination of fruit trees and other flowers. Students had an opportunity to fashion their own mason bee home and plant flowers.  Each participant brought home their mason bee home, flowers, and a tube of live mason bee cocoons and committed to placing the bee home outside, with a south to southeast exposure.

April 21, 2016

Aviation Science Night

This science night was led by Mark Wells, from Wings-Level, and OCE parent (and pilot), Melanie Weddle.  Mark and Melanie taught the children about the wonders and science behind flight and aerodynamics.  First,  Mark performed a short airshow inside the gym flying a wide variety of small, electric radio controlled aircraft including fixed-wing planes, helicopters, and quad-copters.  Next each student learned the basics of wing designs, lift, and center of gravity and then flew and experimented with their own take-home gliders. Wings-Level is run by Mark Wells who has been an avid RC pilot for over 25 years.

February 1, 2016

Circuits and Electronics

Chris Rodegerdts, a science teacher at Lake Oswego Junior High, led two different activities that introduced Oak Creek students to basic concepts in circuits and electronics. A small team of junior high science students joined him to help lead the activities.Students built playdoh creations and used conductive clay and batteries to make LED lights turn on.  The third to fifth grade students made small brushbots (similar to a hexbug) and ran them through a few challenge courses.

January 12, 2016

Robotics

​Presenters for this science night were high school students from the Lake Oswego Team Axis 7187 robotics team. Team Axis 7187 is a Lake Oswego FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team. In 2015, the team competed in the FTC World Championship and earned first place in the Control Award for “Mastering Robot Intelligence”. It was the only Lake Oswego team that had ever won a first place at a World Championship placing them in the top 0.15% of teams in the World! These incredible high school students inspired Oak Creek students to become interested in robotics through demonstrations, robot races, 3D printing, a robot that could solve the Rubik's cube, and much more.

November 16, 2016

Agriculture Science

Stephanie Rickert of Old McDonald's Farm, Inc. led this science night. Stephanie worked with students regarding many fascinating aspects of animal science. Children learned about dairy, eggs, and animals.  They had an opportunity to make and sample butter from cream, compare eggs from different types of birds, and interact with some small farm animals.  

October 27, 2015

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