This week, the 2023 Great Bend USD Reading Initiative finished with a bang – or at least with some flames and chemical reactions. Students at all five elementary schools were treated to programs from Mad Science – a group of science-based, educational entertainers from the Kansas City area.
“JetPack Jason" Kucerik used a prop dragon that breathed cold “smoke” – actually the gas escaping from dry ice – instead of hot flames to create some interactive experiments. It was a good tie-in to this year’s Reading Initiative, said Eisenhower school librarian Kristine Boepple. Starting in January, all of the students read the book “Zoey and Sassafras - Dragons and Marshmallows.” In the book, which is the first in a series about a girl named Zoey and her cat Sassafras, a girl who can see magical creatures uses science to help them heal.
JetPack Jason brought children on stage to help him as he demonstrated exothermic reactions and how phenolphthalein works as an indicator, turning colorless in an acidic solution and pink in a basic solution. He talked about using observational skills and testing hypotheses.
“Keep thinking about how you use science every day,” he told the children.