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Children make blood, chopped fingers, learn science


June 17, 2010 at 1:17 a.m.
Updated June 26, 2010 at 1:26 a.m.

Tanner Williams, 10, keeps his leg covered in a fake blood science experiment while writing in his lab journal during a Victoria College Grossology summer camp.

In a classroom at Victoria College, children hobble around with red blood-like splatters on their bodies.

There's no crying or complaining, though - many did this to themselves intentionally.

"I thought it wouldn't work because it just didn't sound like it would," 10-year-old student Tanner Williams said while stirring a bloody "scab" on his leg. "But then it did, and I thought, 'I'm going to start doing this a lot more than I thought to show everybody.'"

Inside students' desks, bread slices grow mold after being spit on a few days before. Bug pee, vomit and chopped fingers are also a part of the classroom syllabus.

If there's a theme for this science class it would be gross - Grossology that is.

The class is a part of a series of summer camps offered by the college.

"Anytime you can get a student to learn about something hands-on, you've hooked them and their interested," said Brenda Branton, a fifth-grade Victoria teacher, who teaches the Grossology summer camp. "Anytime I can get students excited about science, I've fulfilled my job."

The camp lasts about a week and in that time, the hope is students learn about their bodies through hands-on experiments.

"I've learned that lemon juice and vinegar can make you spit," said 10-year-old Noah Dusseau, after finishing his fake wounds.

The blood was nothing more than a mixture of cocoa powder, food coloring and petroleum jelly, but serves its purpose.

"It gets them interested in health and how you're body works and functions every day," Branton said. "... It's just basic health functions and learning about science at the same time."

After each activity, students write in a science journal to keep things fresh in their minds.

"And they're playing with blood so it can only be a good thing," she said.

"It smells and it stains, but it's cool," Tanner said, holding up a large plastic bag of the gooey experiment.

Next assignment: cooking fingers.

"Anybody else need a finger nail?" Branton asked the class holding up radishes.

The fingers were a simple hot dog and radish, but the children learn the scientific name for the body part: phalange.

"It makes the human body sound more interesting," Tanner said. "Your body is like a working computer. I used to think it was just helping me live, but now I think it's a lot more interesting."



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