On a chilly
afternoon in February, youth from Jackson Elementary School weren’t wasting
their after-school hours on screen time. Instead, they explored chemistry
through a fun and messy hands-on experiment at the Duneland Family YMCA’s
scientists learned about polymers, as they created bouncy balls by mixing
borax, corn starch, and glue to create a chain reaction. The reaction,
called cross-linking, causes the long polymers to stick to each other,
giving the balls their bounce.
This “DIY Bouncy
Ball” activity is one of many designed to teach students STEM (science,
technology, engineering, and math) concepts at the Duneland Family YMCA’s
after-school program. Grant support from ArcelorMittal has fueled great
improvements to the STEM learning program, and youth enrolled in the
Duneland Family YMCA after-school program experience hands-on STEM
activities each week.
pleased to support the Duneland YMCA after-school STEM program,” said Jolice
Pojeta, Manager, Corporate Responsibility and Communications at
ArcelorMittal. “Even at a very young age, these children were able to
experience a fun lesson in both chemistry and physics by creating their own
Bouncy Balls. It’s an easy way for students to learn and create their own
experiment at the same time.”
During the 2016-17
school year, students built their STEM skills through engaging activities,
such as: experiencing physics and engineering, as they design, build, test,
and improve catapults to launch marshmallows; investigating how objects
behave in water by predicting and testing which types of balls will sink or
float, then constructing their own boats to keep pennies afloat; exploring
physics concepts like speed, mass, and volume by building simple ramps and
racing cans of different sizes and shapes; and improving their observation
skills, while exploring nature to collect and inspect rocks, twigs, leaves,
and more in their “Envirolope” (environment envelope).
With a focus on
safety, health, social growth, and academic enhancement, the Duneland Family
YMCA after-school program serves kindergarten through eighth grade students
with a variety of program and activity options to explore and develop their
interests and talents. The Duneland Family YMCA is a charitable nonprofit
focusing on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60
countries and an industrial footprint in 19 countries.