Apr 282004
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Johnny Bravo was a prime crime suspect for fourth-, fifth- and

sixth-graders participating in El Centro Student Services’ 13th

annual Math, Science and Technology Day Wednesday.

A detective game involving cartoon characters like Johnny Bravo

and Spongebob SquarePants was one of the many programs offered.

Other activities included an electricity workshop, a

demonstration by Poudre Fire Authority, a Little Shop of Physics

presentation and a Harry Potter show.

“Really, the objective is to encourage kids to enter the fields

of math, science and technology,” said Rich Salas, assistant

director of El Centro Student Services. “Although it is catered for

all kids, we do have a purpose of trying to get underrepresented

kids interested because historically they don’t enter those


The programs featured taught students about math, science and

technology through hands-on experiments with CSU students and


“They’re trying to get everything to go through all three phases

of matter,” said Joe Messer, a junior chemistry student helping put

on the Harry Potter show. “I like helping out with the kids.”

The children were happy to be there, too.

“I think it will be really interesting to hear about things we

haven’t learned about yet,” said Franny Creegan, a sixth-grader

from Lab Elementary School, 223 S. Shields St. “Then you can store

it in your mind and think about if you want to learn more.”

Lupe Salazar, director of El Centro, is hoping that is exactly

what this program will do.

“Young people needed to know at a very young age what careers

were available,” Salazar said. “You receive an exposure to other

students and to professors.”

Exposure to a university campus can light a fire in children who

may not otherwise be interested in going to college, said Randia

Morrows, a counselor for Educational Talent Search, a program

affiliated with the Center for Educational Access and Outreach at


“It’s just a great experience to be on a college campus starting

to see people that look like them,” Morrows said. “It’s very


Salazar strongly encouraged the children to apply what they

learn to their everyday lives.

“Math, science and technology is a lot of fun and we do it

every, every day,” Salazar said. “We’re here to learn and we’re

here to have fun.”

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