HCEF awarded Sophie Roe a grant to recently conduct a science workshop for children. Roe calls Pittsburgh, PA her home and is currently attending Pomona College in Claremont, CA. The grant for this science learning project was given by The Draper Center for Community Partnerships, Pomona’s community engagement center, where Roe works as a student coordinator.
When asked, Roe chose to do the workshop at Sojourner House MOMS, “because I was familiar with [MOMS] as I worked there as a volunteer in high school … I always had so much fun working with the children of [MOMS] as a high school volunteer, and I thought it would be fun to come back and teach some science.”
The three-week workshop focused on introducing plant and human cells. The children at MOMS learned about photosynthesis, mitosis, human and plant cell structures. According to Roe, “each of the lessons incorporated a “learning” and a “doing” component as the grant aimed to promote hands-on learning.” During the lessons, the kids recreated cells using pasta and fruit roll-ups to represent different parts of the cell. They planted bean seeds to have a greater understanding of how photosynthesis works in plants. They also recreated blood using red dye in water bottles and Cheerios. Roe elaborated on the blood project: “In the blood activity, the Sojourner House Scientists dyed the Cheerios red to represent red blood cells or erythrocytes … The erythrocyte Cheerios were then emptied into water, which represents plasma, the liquid component of blood. The scientists then observed the red Cheerios dye the plasma red to make blood in a bottle!”