A group of sixth-graders from Erik Ramstad Middle School ooh'ed and aah'ed over salamanders, frogs and a turtle during the annual science open house held at Minot State University's Cyril Moore Hall on March 3.
"He's so cute!" said one girl. "He likes me," said another.
The third- through sixth-graders attending the science open house, which includes geology, biology, physics and chemistry-related activities, were getting a rare chance to get hands-on with science.
Andrea Johnson/MDN - - Sixth-graders from Erik Ramstad Middle School hold salamanders during the science open house held at Minot State University on March 3.
Andrea Johnson/MDN - - Spencer Wheeling, a geology major, right, and Emily Evanoff, a biology major, use a model during Minot State University’s annual science open house to demonstrate how Devils Lake could flood its banks within seconds if an earthen dike is ever breached.
Andrea Johnson/MDN - - Sixth-graders from Erik Ramstad Middle School look at living organisms through microscopes during the science open house held March 3 at Minot State University. Senior biology major Markus Wilson led the activity.
"It's getting to see the cool side of science," said geology major Kyle Peterson. "Seeing what you can do with science."
Cameron Davis, a biology major, said his own interest in science was sparked because of similar hands-on activities that he and his classmates were exposed to when he was growing up.
The two men ran a display showing bones from different animals, such as a fox and a cat. There was even a human skull, belonging to a man dead for decades who'd donated his body to science. The kids could touch the animal bones but not the human skull.
Peterson and Davis said they could tell which of the youngsters are potential future science majors because they ask so many in-depth questions and are so interested in what they see.
Spencer Wheeling, a geology major, and Emily Evanoff, a biology major, used a model that showed how flooding will affect a lake or a river. They had downloaded the most recent flood forecasts and showed how Devils Lake will flood its banks within 7 to 10 seconds if an earthen dike breaks. They also used the model to show how the Souris River could cause flooding. Kids saw up close how flooding could work.
"One said, 'Now I'm scared!' " Evanoff said.
Students from Jim Hill Middle School, Erik Ramstad Middle School, Bel Air Elementary, Anamoose, Bottineau, TGU-Granville, Velva and Lewis and Clark attended the event, which is organized and run by MSU science majors. It is a way to encourage children to become more interested in science, the MSU students said.