On February 27th, Wangenheim Middle School held its 3rd annual Family Science Night and it was a huge success. Over 300 students, parents and community members attended. “Wangenheim’s Science department did an incredible job organizing events, contacting presenters and presenting sessions themselves,” cited Dan Grendziak, a science teacher at Wangenheim. Those that attended had many different and exciting activities to choose from.

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One of the most popular events was the squid dissection, hosted by Felicia Ryder and Marin Silva. Participants dissected fresh squid and then had the opportunity to eat their dissected squid after it was deep fried. Yum, calamari! The visiting elementary students seemed to gravitate to the Activity Room where they built water bottle rocket cars under the direction of another science teacher, Karen Madsen. According to Ms Madsen, she used all 150 water bottles she prepared for making the cars. Once they built these Newton Rocket Bottle cars they competed to see whose car went the fastest and straightest. Another teacher, John Gaudi, had quite a few parents and students waiting to learn about geodes. Mr. Gaudi cut the geodes in half with the help of his students, and then gave many of the samples away to the attendees.

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Wangenheim welcomed several local UCSD student groups including the neurology department who brought real animal brains for students to touch, hold and learn about. Students were heard saying, that was really gross but cool. Another UCSD group, SPARKS from the Chemistry department, put on a Mad Science chemistry show that included a hands on activities. It was standing room only for the 3 sessions these amazing young chemists put on. A few other open events that drew many visitors were the cute, newly hatched chickens in the library, soon to be released into Wangenheim’s garden and watching a Ruben Tube in action. If you want to know the science behind these exciting and fun activities, you’ll have to attend next year.