Western’s new Science & Arts Early Release program offers hair-raising investigation of physics

Children crowded around the silver orb, waiting for their turn to feel static electricity run through their bodies.

Last Wednesday, Oct. 10, children in grades K-5 participated in Western Youth Programs new Science and Arts Early Release Program “Machines and Moving Things: Physics” magnetism and electricity session.

Youth Programs director Debbie Gibbons called the session “a hair-raising experience.” Students used a Van de Graaf electro-magnetic charge generator in Western’s Science, Math and Technology Education Building to experiment with static electricity after they practiced by rubbing balloons on the carpet and their hair.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, students will have the opportunity to explore why light is both obvious and mysterious – such as why sunshine makes us warm during the day but people have to use incandescent and florescent bulbs to produce light at night, Gibbons said.

Read more

Grandparents ‘U’ brings generations together

Madison, a fourth-grader and returning Grandparents “U” participant, teared up when she learned her first Grandparents “U” class was over and said, “I want to go back to college,” her grandmother Sharon Gray said.

Gray and Madison came back to college Aug. 2 and 3, when Western Washington University’s Grandparents “U” summer program completed its first session at Western’s Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes.

The two-day intergenerational summer program for grandparents and their grandchildren ages 7 to 14 provided 19 participants a chance to spend time together while exploring marine ecology topics taught by Western faculty.

Read more