McWane Center wows Helena summer reading participants

McWane Center Summer Outreach Presenter Tequilla Berry impresses the Helena Summer Reading crowd with one of her experiments on Wednesday, June 15 at Helena City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

McWane Center Summer Outreach Presenter Tequilla Berry impresses the Helena Summer Reading crowd with one of her experiments on Wednesday, June 15 at Helena City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Children of all ages were wowed and intrigued by various experiments at Helena City Hall on Wednesday, June 15, when the McWane Science Center paid a visit for the Helena Summer Reading Program.

McWane Center Summer Outreach Presenter Tequilla Berry brought a number of experiments related to science in sports and showed how science plays a key role in a variety of different sports motions.

Berry demonstrated how centrifugal force works by placing water in a bucket and spinning it in a circle showing that no water spills.

Other experiments included how mass plays a role in sports, Newton’s three laws of motion, how sound waves travel, and more.

Upcoming second grader Reid Lucas was in the audience and said his favorite part of the visit from the McWane Center was the final experiment. Lucas also explained the kind of books he’s been reading during the summer.

“My favorite part was when she put the three bottles on the table and then they exploded,” said Lucas. “My favorite subject in school is writing and I like to read chapter books on military dog handling. Once I finish a book I read some more.”

The final experiment of the day was one of the most popular. With the help of two volunteers, Berry placed Alka Seltzer and water into small bottles and quickly closed them. After a number of seconds, each pill bottle shot several feet into the air resulting in applause and laughter from the crowd.

“The explosion was the result of a chemical reaction between the Alka Seltzer and the water,” said Berry. “When the two mixed the chemical reaction resulted in the explosion,” Berry explained to the crowd.

Another fun experiment was using a blower to launch toilet paper into the air displaying how air pressure works.

After the program, each child received a free pass to the McWane Center.

The Helena Summer Reading Program is scheduled to take place every Wednesday through July 13.

The remaining schedule for the summer reading program is as follows:

  • June 22–Alabamians in the Olympics, an interactive program–2 p.m.
  • June 29–Visit with the fire department–2 p.m.
  • July 6–Visit with the police department–2 p.m.
  • July 13–Summer reading close out celebration–2 p.m.