Houghton College hosted an interactive homeschooling lab science day on April 20, 2013, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Paine Science Building.
Student members of Houghton College’s Sigma Zeta, a national honor society for science and math students, welcomed 13 area high school students onto campus to participate in a free educational lab experience. These high school students attend small Christian schools or are educated at home and often lack the necessary equipment and resources for performing complex science experiments on their own.
Sigma Zeta enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to the community and create a fun but challenging environment by offering valuable learning experiences in fully equipped labs at the college.
The members of Houghton’s Sigma Zeta collaborate to plan the lab activities, which in the past have ranged from physics to biology to chemistry.
“Our hope was to encourage high school students in the sciences by providing valuable hands-on experiences with lab equipment and lab safety, as well as opportunities to catch the excitement of science from our college students,” said Karen Torraca, who serves as faculty advisor for Sigma Zeta.
The program originated two years ago and has been well received by the community. Since Houghton started this program, participating high school students have had the opportunity to grow in knowledge and familiarity with Houghton’s labs.
“For some of the high school students, it is one of the few chances they've had to participate in laboratory activities. Overall, it is a great way to offer science education in a setting that emphasizes fun,” said Maya McElfish, a member of Sigma Zeta.
Announcements for upcoming Houghton lab Saturdays will be directed through homeschool co-ops and Christian schools.