Sink or Float: Christiana Lutheran youth director leads science experiment sessions

Published 12:05 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

By Savannah Morgan

Pans of water sat on the tables of Granite Quarry Elementary’s media center. Objects such as golf balls, candles, spoons and straws patiently waited to be tested for buoyancy. And 20 smiling children readied their crayons to record the results. Would the objects float or would they sink?

Science Thrive Tuesdays at Granite Quarry Elementary are sessions led by Brittney Barnhardt, the THRIVE youth director at Christiana Lutheran, as well as several of her youth members. Each Tuesday, students from all across Rowan County are able to enjoy a fun science experiment and a free lunch while volunteers are able to immerse themselves in the community.

“It’s important for youth to be involved and to help all over the community” said Barnhardt. “That’s the mission.”

This is the second year that Barnhardt and her youth have been involved with the science summer sessions at Granite Quarry.

Barnhardt, who is also a social studies teacher at China Grove Elementary School, knows how critical it is for students to continue to learn during the summer.

“It’s essential to educate in the summer so students can continue learning and continue the growth they’ve accomplished during the school year,” Barnhardt said.

Makayla Williams, who will be a sixth-grader at Erwin Middle next year, also enjoys having the opportunity to learn over the summer.

“Learning now will help me to have an advantage in sixth grade science,” Williams said. “I also like to eat lunch with my friends and complete the fun science experiments.”

“I like them because they help me think,” said Saige Gregg, a young participant, of the experiments.

In addition to enjoying the experiments and the lunches, the students also had positive things to say about the youth volunteers.

“They are fun to hang out with,” Williams said. “They help you with stuff you don’t understand, and they help you find friends.”

The science sessions are also positive experiences for the youth members.

“The kids are really funny,” said Carlee Lowry, a rising senior at East Rowan High School.

“Most of them look up to us,” added Jackie Mancia, a rising junior at East Rowan High School.

“The experiments are fun,” said Diego Corona, a rising freshman at East Rowan High School. “I like to see what the kids think.”

It seems the summer sessions are enjoyed by all those involved. They provide some summer learning and fun for students as well as allowing the youth at Christiana Lutheran be involved with the community.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to support the community,” Barnhardt said.

Science Thrive Tuesday sessions are open to all Rowan-Salisbury Schools students. Each session begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 1 p.m. Free lunch is provided. Future sessions are:

• July 11: After the Storm

• July 18: Thumbs Up

• July 25: World in Your Hands

• August 1: What Will You Do?

• August 8: Science Fun

Barnhardt and THRIVE youth also host THRIVE Tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year. The tutoring is held at Christiana Lutheran Church and lasts from 4-6 p.m.