Horizon Science Academy Hosts Polymer Family Night


IMG_1834-WebHigh school science teacher Elif Polat was busy on campus this summer participating in The University of Akron’s Research Experience for Teachers in Polymer Engineering, an 8-week program funded by the National Science Foundation. RET aims to increase teachers’ knowledge of topics such as polymer engineering and enable them to take what they have learned back to the classroom. During the program Elif and ten other teachers worked with faculty and graduate student mentors conducting polymer engineering research projects, and developing science lessons relating to them. When school started in August, Elif also began planning her school’s Polymer Family Night, which took place September 28 at Horizon Science Academy.

The Horizon Science Academy is a public charter school in Cleveland that provides students with innovative science, math, and technology based education. It aims to equip students both for higher education and for success in the workforce. The school’s dedication to innovation and STEM-based learning made it the perfect place to host a Polymer Family Night.

These evenings full of family-friendly scientific fun can be hosted at any school. A  Polymer Family Night typically consists of several hands-on experimental lab stations, which teach scientific concepts in fun and memorable ways. Students (and parents) who participate can learn all about polymers, what they are, and that we encounter them every day.

Almost 200 students and family members took part in Polymer Family Night at the Horizon Science Academy, experiencing activities including “Elephant Toothpaste”, Hoop Gliders, Polymer Kaleidoscopes, Magnetic Polymer Putty, Shrinky Dinks and more. The Akron Global Polymer Academy, a K-12 outreach program for the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, ran four stations with the help of graduate students Elizabeth Lewis, Frankie Bouscher, Meeta Trivedi, and Juan Marin Angel. Thanks goes to Troy Davidson of Mogadore based Vertex, Inc. (www.vertexseals.com) for helping with the event as well.