ELLINWOOD — Celebrating the spirit of Albert Einstein, Ellinwood Grade School sixth graders learned about science in different ways on Thursday. Seresa Arndt, sixth grade teacher, has been sponsoring the annual Einstein Day for 15 plus years. It is in its fourth year at EGS.
"The whole purpose is to give students an appreciation for science," said Arndt.
The day opened with the dissection of a calf by local veterinarian Dr. Katherine Mountain. The calf was weighted approximately 50 pounds and was born dead.
Dr. Mountain showed the children the four stomachs, the kidneys, and the heart. She showed them the valves and how the calf was different than a human.
"That calf was cool," said student Katelyn Lefebre. "She showed us the liver, and we put on gloves and could feel it." She did admit it was a little yucky.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office did a demonstration with Rocco, the police dog. The officer speaks in Dutch to the dog. Rocco is trained in officer protection, tracking and narcotics.
Criminal Justice students from Barton Community College fingerprinted all of the students and explained how the process worked. They explained how no one has the same fingerprints. Fingerprints can be found by dusting, fuming or magnetism.
Greg Novacek, director of the Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education spoke to the sixth graders about the life cycle of thunderstorms, development of tornadoes and safety in the event of a tornado.
He explained the differences in clouds and if a cloud looks choppy from where we can see it, it is because the air above it is choppy.
A simple of explanation of lightning was given. "Lightning comes from air rubbing together in clouds," said Novacek, during a video of weather. He showed what a downburst looks like from the inside.
Novacek spent quite a bit of time at talking about tornadoes and safety during tornadoes. "Seven out of 10 tornadoes are weak and don’t last long," he said. "Only 2 percent of tornadoes are violent. Seventy percent of all people killed die during a violent tornado."
A tornado’s strength is determined by its aftermath. For a tornado to form, there must be cool dry air combining with warm moist air which tends to meet in the center of the country or tornado alley which includes Kansas. The cool air comes in from the north and warm air from the south.
Tornadoes kill more people each year than hurricanes because of a lack of warning. Hurricanes destroy more buildings. Novacek encouraged the students to get a weather radio. However, some tornadoes have little to no warning such as the Hoisington tornado.
"Keep your eye on the sky," said Novacek. He also warned the students not to stand near windows in the event of a tornado and to find the room with the strongest walls.
The storm that kills the most people is flash flooding, followed by lightning, tornadoes and then hurricanes.
Doc Gizmo was present in the afternoon. He makes science come alive with hands-on activities and demonstrations. The whole school was present.