*  College of Science K-12 Outreach Program

February 22, 2007

Indianapolis' Crooked Creek Elementary to get interactive with science

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Hands-on science will be featured Feb. 26-March 2 at Purdue University's Focus on Science Week at Crooked Creek Elementary School, 2150 Kessler Blvd. W. Drive, Indianapolis.

College of Science outreach coordinators will work with more than 450 students on interactive science activities.

"Focus on Science Week is a great opportunity to see students participating in engaging science activities based upon Indiana standards for science education," said Bill Walker, director of College of Science K-12 Outreach. "The College of Science K-12 outreach coordinators demonstrate teaching strategies that emphasize hands-on activities and inquiry learning, which makes Focus on Science a week of science excitement for students and a professional development opportunity for teachers."

The Focus on Science program is part of a larger project that helps teachers include more inquiry-based activities in science education. Hands-on activities include Investigating the Earthworm, Fossil Footprints, Kaleidoscope Milk, Waves and Sound, Weather Around Your School, Super Spinners, Density and Buoyancy and the Physics Road Show. 

Investigating the Earthworm helps students think about questions such as, "Which end is the front end of the earthworm?" or "Why do birds have so much difficulty pulling an earthworm out of its hole?" Each student will work with an earthworm and conduct several experiments to learn about their underground neighbors.

The purpose of Kaleidoscope Milk is to discover the properties of milk. Milk is a complicated substance made up of many parts that are attracted to some substances while repelling others. Indicators are used to observe how interactions cause milk to act when mixed with substances in an interesting and colorful way.

Fossil Footprints provides information about the size, locomotion, social structure and predator-prey relationships of ancient animals. In this activity, students will make and analyze "dinosaur tracks" to help find explanations for observed tracks. Simulated dinosaur tracks are investigated by students to determine if the animal was walking on two feet, walking on four feet or running on two feet.

Weather Around Your School looks at the variety of natural and manmade factors that affect the climate of a region. Natural and built factors can cause differences in climate on a smaller scale, such as in a classroom or a schoolyard. These small-scale differences can impact people's comfort, behavior and activities. In this activity, students will practice inquiry and critical thinking skills as they develop and test a research question related to the effect of various variables on temperature in or around their school.

Support for Focus on Science Week will be provided by the Washington Township Foundation and the Crooked Creek Parent Teacher Organization. 

The Purdue University College of Science K-12 Outreach Program began in 1990 to support teachers and inspire students. Through events such as Focus on Science, College of Science K-12 Outreach helps Indiana teachers address scientific literacy, which is a key component to Indiana's work force and economic development plan. Since 1990, 5,000 teachers and 550,000 students statewide have participated in the college's programs.

To learn more about Focus on Science or the College of Science K-12 Outreach Program, call (765) 494-1990, e-mail or visit the Outreach Web site at

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Mary Beth Reffett, Crooked Creek Elementary School principal, (317) 259-5478,

Bill Walker, (765) 494-5890,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: For a schedule of Focus on Science activities, contact Mary Beth Reffett, Crooked Creek Elementary principal, at (317) 259-5478,

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