Sara Swanson

Kids lift a semi truck and do other amazing things at Klager Math and Science Night

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Twenty kids use pulleys to right a tipped-over semi truck in the parking lot of Klager Elementary as part of Math and Science Night!

Friday evening, Manchester’s kids had a truly unique opportunity. As part of Math and Science Night, students, their families, and community members gathered in the parking lot of Klager Elementary School. Manchester Towing had brought in and tipped over a 50 foot tractor trailer semi earlier in the week. At first, twenty adults lined up along the side of the truck and tried, unsuccessfully to lift it. Then, twenty students lined up and with pulleys and two ropes, successfully righted the semi!

Math and Science Night organizer Kathy Benedict was contacted by Manchester Towing owner Bill Kerns about this activity shortly after Christmas, although he had been working out the logistics for more than a year. Benedict put Kerns in contact with Klager principal, Karin Villarreal and Superintendent Cherie Vanatter who were able to figure out liability and insurance and make this amazing event happen.

Groups of twenty kids at a time were able to lift the semi. Afterwards they headed inside for what can only be described as hands-on science museum-quality activities. Attendees were able to hold a snake and a baby goat, pet a baby kangaroo and hedgehog, plant and take home a strawberry plant, determine experimentally “what is a seed” and what isn’t, learn about the Raisin River, make tessellation art, watch 5th-graders race CO-powered pinewood derby-style cars, shop at a traveling book fair, make slime, create a marble run, isolate strawberry DNA, pet and read to Izzy and Zeva two therapy dogs, learn about fluoride and enamel experimentally with eggs, manipulate light with mirrors, investigate sound waves at the string instrument petting zoo, touch pig lungs, see the middle school robotics team demo their robot and watch a rocket launch outside!

Benedict reported more than 400 in attendance this year. Once again, Math and Science Night was a truly impressive, educational and fun free event.

Twenty adults unsuccessfully lifting the semi without pulleys.

Ron Milkey, operations manager for Manchester Collision & Towing.

Klage Elementary principal Karin Villarreal M.C.ing the event, next to a display explaining how pulleys work.

Ruth VanBogelen prepares for hundreds of students to isolate DNA out of strawberries.

Libby Beaudioun and Jennifer Fairfield prepare to help kids plant their own strawberry plants to take home.

Oliver Bushaw demonstrates the guitar at the musical instrument petting zoo.

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