Young scientists get hands-on lessons

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(ABC 6 News) – It was the final day of class for students in the young scientist’s program, but the program this year was a resounding success. 

Learning things hands-on is the best way to learn about science. Ellis Middle School 8th Grader Elaine Chumba agrees. 

“Oh it’s so much fun!! You get to do a bunch of really cool experiments with your friends or other grade levels.” 

That is exactly what several students at IJ-Holton & Ellis Middle Schools have to do. The program included students in grades 6 through 8. Another one of those students was eighth grader, also from Ellis Middle School, Liberty Andersen. “I just enjoy learning things, so I thought it was a fun opportunity to learn stuff in a new way. “ 

It was the first year the Young Scientists Program was hosted by the Hormel Institute. Many topics were covered, including the physics of cars, the human brain, and experiments focusing on the effects of vaping. 

Students had to apply to take part in the program. In addition, they also had to get references, a crucial part in applying for a job in any field. Kelly Vincelette is the Community Outreach & Education Manager at Hormel Institute. She thinks this helps build skills they will need as adults. 

“We try to build a life skill component to the program as well as the science component. “ 

As for future plans of the program, the Hormel Institute hopes to expand the program to include students in high school. Vicelette loves the idea. 

“The goal is we’ll have sixth graders in this program, and they can stay in this program until they graduate. “ 

For one student, the experiments at the Hormel institute were right up her alley. She wants to go into either biology or chemistry. She enjoyed working with cells. 

“You also got to add chemicals to those cells and see how they reacted. Seemed like something I see myself doing in the future as a job. “ 

And when asked if she would want to work for Hormel one day. 

“Definitely. “ 

Students get to present their portfolios of what they have learned here at the Hormel institute on May 23 at 5pm.