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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Paoli Library hosts science classes in the summer

To the elementary school students participating in one of the region's Science in the Summer programs at Paoli Library on Thursday, their scientist instructor seemed similar to a magician.

First, he submerged a banana into a mysterious substance called liquid nitrogen, which turned the piece of fruit into a working hammer. He then dropped a few corn kernels into a glass of carbonated water and amazed the class as they watched the kernels float to the surface, sink to the bottom and then rise yet again. Demonstrations like these are being held in over 100 libraries throughout the Delaware Valley as part of the Science in the Summer program sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.

"We want to create a sense of wonder and curiosity towards science," said instructor James Maxwell. Partnering with The Franklin Institute and local libraries, the program offers four hour-long science classes over the course of one week to elementary school students. These free classes are taught by certified teachers and divided into one section for second and third graders and another section for students in grades four through six.
"GlaxoSmithKline's contribution is critical," said Maxwell, who is also an instructor in the Geology and Astronomy department at West Chester University.