Did you know DNA can be extracted from a strawberry? Or that with the help of pipe cleaners you can blow square bubbles?
Those were two of the "lab" experiments children and their families were invited to partake in Monday morning during an unveiling of the new Sasol Education Adventure Space on the third floor of The Children's Museum of Southwest Louisiana.
Newly painted walls, special "lab" tables, comfy cylindrical stools as well as a brand new promethean board greeted families as they disembarked the elevators, and had children running into the room to check things out.
"The new promethean board is just like the promethean boards used by all of the schools in Calcasieu Parish," Allyson Montgomery, assistant director of the museum, said. "The neat thing about ours is that it brings an interactive demonstration process to life on the screen. Kids can also play games and take part in video lessons in real time using this new technology."
Sasol has maintained a solid presence at the Children's Museum for more than 10 years now with their 5S Program, which occurs the second Saturday of every month and is officially called the Sasol Second Saturday Science Show.
"We have about 30 volunteers throughout the year who take part in events here," said Todd Hancock, Sasol's acting VP of the LCCP site for operations and commissions, who counts himself as one of them and was in attendance for Monday's big reveal.
"We've been doing the 5S program for over 10 years, and in the recent past we added the Chem Corner downstairs for demonstrations about what we (Sasol) do. It sort of demystifies Sasol for the community; not just for kids, but for parents and grandparents, too," Hancock said. "We all really enjoy working with the kids. I know this is the highlight of my day; just to be here and to introduce this to the community. We're going to continue this partnership for decades to come."
Jamie Henderson of Sulphur brought her 4-and 7-year-old children to the event, and thought the turnout was great, and the science even better.
"This is the first time we've been here," she said. "And this is great. I didn't know about the 5S program, but I would bring my kids back for that."
Children of all ages took part in the unique science experiments, led by Sasol volunteer Travis Corbello. Sasol also provided the children with free T-shirts and cookies to snack on between labs as they watched themselves appear on the new promethean screen, which in addition to being used during the 5S Sasol program, can be used for other events at the museum.
"The screen is actually our gift to the museum," Hancock explained. "They can use it for anything they'd like to use it for."
"We're very grateful to our community partner Sasol," assistant director Montgomery said as the event was wrapping up. "We're grateful for their support over so many years, and for sharing the career options available in our area with the youth of this region."
The next Sasol 5S science show at the Children's Museum will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.