On a rainy Saturday afternoon, children were able to celebrate science at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
The day had an Earth Day focus with activities upstairs and down that included crafts, experiments, touching a snake and cockroaches and a play called “Polar Bear in New Jersey” performed by the Central Hardin High School Drama Club.
Girl Scout Troop 413 was on hand to help paint rocks for the Elizabethtown Rocks Facebook page. Children attending could paint rocks and take them home, then they could hide them in the community and hunt for other rocks.
Kate Barnett, 11, was with the Girl Scout troop. She said many young women don’t get a chance to participate in science and was hoping the event would help promote science to those who might not normally be exposed to it.
“We’re celebrating science,” she said. “It’s celebrating something everyone doesn’t get to see or experience.”
Also helping with the Girl Scouts was Taylor Barno, 8. She helped in the booth and also participated in events, which she said were fun.
Taylor saw a snake, received some plants and pet a cockroach she was hoping to take home with her.
Martha Wolf, a biology instructor at ECTC, taught attendees about Madagascar hissing cockroaches. She brought them out to remind everyone about protecting the species on the planet.
All the exhibits for the day are about taking care of the planet, she said.
Most of the children picked up a cockroach and some even let them walk around on their clothes. Adults were not as excited about it, Wolf said. Children were allowed to take a cockroach home with them and were instructed to feed them lettuce.
“We wanted to do a celebration of science today in conjunction with everything else going on across the nation and world today,” Wolf said.
Other booths were about the solar system and what children can do to make life better on Earth.
Michelle Kist of the Western Kentucky University sociology program had a booth in partnership with the Hardin County Animal Shelter. Children were asked what they could do with their pets to make the world a better place.
“It gives kids something else to do to think about their planet,” she said.
Kist met a girl who decided for her birthday she wanted people to donate to the animal shelter instead of receiving gifts.
This is the first year of an event organizer Donielle Lovell hopes to host every year.
“Science is one of those things that if we didn’t have it, boy, we’d see a big difference in our lives,” she said.
Lovell, of the WKU sociology department, wanted to have the event to showcase different scientific ventures in the community with many different groups involved.
It was promoted in conjunction with ECTC, Heartland Progressive Alliance and WKU.
They had a steady crowd throughout the afternoon. The event originally was supposed to take place at Freeman Lake Park and moved to ECTC because of rain.
Lovell said organizers wanted to allow children to engage in science. Her daughter loves science and anything to do with the solar system, bugs or dirt, she said.
“We want to inspire all these little scientists that will hopefully be going into the field someday,” Lovell said. “We need children to love science, to be the next generation of great inventors, be out there curing diseases and making our world and our earth a healthier place.”
Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or email@example.com.