It was a different day at A.G. Minassian School on February 2nd. The students were very excited about a visitor who was coming to school that morning. It was the Science Instructor from Discovery Science Center, who brought a portable planetarium to our school.
First through Fifth Grade students gathered around the planetarium and the instructor involved the students in demonstrating how the earth rotates on its own axis (hence we have day and night) and around the sun resulting in the different seasons. She also explained the difference between Magnetic North and True North. Then the students went into the inflated dome, which was the Planetarium. In the darkness, they were able to see the different constellations and listened to mythical stories from different cultures such as Greek, Roman and Native American and their interpretation of the constellations.
The students were given peepholes through which they were able to see the different colors of the spectrum while looking at the stars. They were very excited to see the different galaxies and hear different stories.
Following the Star Lab, Fourth and Fifth Grade students participated in Cow Eye Dissection. The instructor explained the anatomy of the eye and discussed the difference between human and cow eye. Students were thrilled to perform the dissection and they worked individually or in pairs.
First, they were able to see the optic nerve in the back of the eye and then they removed the cornea to get to the iris and the hollow opening, which is the pupil. Under the pupil, they removed the hard lens of the eye and they learned that it was a convex lens. They were able to feel the thick transparent Vitreous Humor, which gives the eye its round shape.
Finally, they peeled off the blue membrane, Tapetum Lucidum (present in cow eye, not human) and were able to see the retina. The instructor made them put the parts of the eye back together as she reviewed what they learned that day. This was a great hands-on experience for the students to learn about Science.