by Lisa Tome
It may just look like a fun geyser made from Mentos and Diet Coke, but for Liz Drummond, it was a chemistry lesson.
Drummond, the young adult librarian at Perryville's Branch Library, was teaching about soda geysers and various types of bubbles as part of last week's Afternoon Academy classes at the library. Afternoon Academy is new at Perryville and is specifically for those who are home schooled or who attend school in a non-traditional setting.
When it comes to teaching those who are home schooled, Drummond can relate. She was home schooled.
"Home school is new for teens at the Perryville branch. We're trying to fill in a gap. I wanted a special series (for those who are home schooled). But they can come to the school programs too," said Drummond.
Drummond said her goal was for the youths to not realize they were learning. The soda geyser program kicked things off with a bang.
The participants were asked to create geysers by combining Diet Coke with Mentos, Altoids, Ice Breakers, Tic Tacs, and Smarties candies. Mentos won the day.
And that wasn't the only fizzy fun.
Drummond also experimented with bubble solutions - store bought and one that she made at home. The class members found that the homemade bubbles were best.
"We want to add ingredients to see how we can strengthen a bubble. These are fun experiments. teachable moments," said Drummond.
The key to catching bubbles was for them to not come in contact with dirt or hands. Drummond passed out socks which the youths put on their hands.
Luke Scott, 11, is home schooled.
"I just wanted a science program," said Scott. He is home schooled with his siblings, one of whom joined the experiments.
Mindy Scott, Luke's mother, also home schools her nine and five year old sons and has a fourth child, a toddler girl.
"This is nice, these hands on science experiments. It's so nice for them to learn from other people. We will definitely come to these (programs) if we can," said Mindy Scott. "I'm glad they've added the older kid programs."