Library program gives kids a head start on science

Published on Thursday, 8 June 2017 15:11
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

NEWINGTON – In a town with biomedical and aerospace academies in its middle schools, families are eager to get their children enthused about the natural and physical world at an earlier age.

Kids ages 3 to 6 and their parents crowded the children’s room at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library Monday night for the first segment in a new Super Science Explorers program. About 20 children participated.

“The standards now for kids are much higher so it’s really important to expose them much earlier,” said Lauren Sikorski, whose daughter Audrey, 4, and son Eli, 2, were looking forward to the science experiment hinted at in the evening’s agenda.

“We want them to have a love of learning and reading,” Sikorski added. “Positive interactions with the library encourage that.”

Her daughter heard there would be “potions” involved in Monday’s program.

Children’s Librarian Joanne Cocola indeed had used red, yellow, and blue food dyes to color water.

Each child and their parents were given three clear plastic cups filled with these “potions” and three cups of uncolored water. Cocola demonstrated how strips of paper towels – when hung over the sides to connect all the cups – created a rainbow of colors.

When the yellow and blue liquids came in contact on the strips touching in the plain water cup between, for example, a green hue appeared. It took around half an hour for this interaction to occur.

While they waited, kids sat down for a story and a song. Later on they moved into several other experiments employing jellybeans and color-changing milk.

Three-year-old Karina Marsh comes from a family of science teachers.

“There are three generations, beginning with my grandmother – her great-grandmother,” Briana Marsh, Karina’s mother, explained.

She works for the Capitol Region Education Council’s environmental energy education sector. Mother and daughter enjoyed working together at the library Monday.

“Being exposed to science at an early age is really important,” Marsh pointed out.

This week’s exploration of the rainbow was only the first in the series. Super Science Explorers will continue Mondays, June 12 and 19, at 6 p.m., featuring different themes. Activities are geared towards children ages 3 to 6, with families invited to complete activities independently.

“Parents can go from station to station and work with their kids so everyone is moving at their own pace,” Cocola explained.

Those who attended Monday are encouraged to continue along in the next segments.

The children’s department is also gearing up for its 2017 Summer Reading program, which kicks off Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. A collaboration with the town’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the event will include crafts, games, a sprinkler, building projects with Home Depot volunteers and gardening in the library’s backyard. The Newington Volunteer Fire Department will be bringing one of its fire apparatuses for kids to check out as well.

“It will be a fun day,” Cocola said.

The adults’ summer reading kickoff was Thursday, June 1, and people can still register at the library or online. Participants will receive prize tickets for each book they read and be entered into weekly drawings for gift baskets. The program culminates with a grand prize drawing on Friday, Aug. 18.

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News, Business on Thursday, 8 June 2017 15:11. Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2017 15:13.