Monday, March 2, 2009 | 5:28 p.m.
First grader Allison Clark giggled as she stuck her hand into the green, googly-eyed germ puppet and pulled it out again to shake a bystander's hand.
"Now you have germs too!" she said as the faint glow of "germs" (in reality, a black-light sensitive powder) became evident on the hand she had shaken.
During Jr. Engineering Night Feb. 18 at John R. Beatty Elementary School, students and parents took turns participating in all things science-related and hands on.
Experiments ranging from the classic water-made twister in the conjoined soda bottles, to a device hooked up to a microphone that gave a visual image of sound waves, filled a number of the school's classrooms.
The after-school event was part of all-day activities in which the students in all grade levels visited neighboring classrooms to conduct various experiments.
The event was put on by Utah State University's Junior Engineering department, which brings all of the components for the interactive experiments and lessons to the classroom.
PTA President Natalie Carter said the event shows the students that science can be fun.
"There's so many neat things in the world they didn't know, like how quicksand works and how bubbles are formed. They can touch these things and do it themselves," she said.
Fifth grader Lauren Jones said her favorite experiment of the day was one that involved changing the water pressure in a canal to allow a boat to float through.
"It was like trying to make a boat go up hill," she said.
Her brother Ethan Jones, a second grader, said he enjoyed playing the play he and his classmates did about dinosaurs.
Other students laughed and waved to their parents as they rode miniature quads on a track set up in the multi-purposes room.
Familiarization with street signs was the goal behind the ride.
Principal Craig VanTine said the event was a great way to show parents what their children are up to while they're in class.
"We want parents to see we do science regularly, that it's active and that the kids are excited about it," he said.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.