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First Annual PEAK Internet Science & Art Day Big Hit with Kids!

June 8, 2012

Schools Day Draws Crowd of 2,162 to Goss Stadium

First Annual PEAK Internet Science & Art Day Big Hit with Kids!Knights host Science Day for students
by Raju Woodward, Gazette-Times

Science, art and America's favorite pastime came together Wednesday at Goss Stadium.

Against the backdrop of a Corvallis Knights-Klamath Falls Gem baseball game, more than 1,500 elementary students learned about art, science and baseball.

The students were participating in the first PEAK Internet Science & Arts Day. The event was a collaboration between the Knights, da Vinci Days festival organizers and PEAK Internet.

"We wanted to introduce a love of baseball to students," said Corvallis Knights President Dan Segel. "We also wanted to make science and art fun for kids. Baseball involves both."

Students from 12 elementary schools in Corvallis, Albany, Philomath and Monroe attended Science & Arts Day. They were offered tickets at a discounted price, and PEAK helped to defray the cost for some eligible students.

In addition to being able to check out the action on the field, students moved through 12 different science and art stations set up outside of and within Goss Stadium.

One of the more popular stations enabled students to learn how fast they can throw a baseball. After firing a strike into the net and hearing the speed of her throw announced, Monroe Grade School fifth-grader Rose Gwillim was all smiles.

"I got a 53 (miles per hour)," Rose said. "That broke my previous record in the 40s."

Representatives from OMSI staffed a puzzle booth and chalk art area outside the stadium.

Inside the ballpark were science experiment stations set up by Oregon State University faculty and students, ranging from chemistry to the engineering department.

One OSU station enabled students to make gel beads out of chemicals extracted from seaweed. Another showed students that carbon dioxide can be used to put out a flame.

Segel said the Science & Art event was modeled after similar events that were hosted by the Portland Beavers minor league baseball team. And of course, students got to learn about baseball. One station hosted by OSU engineering faculty and students featured a DVD about how baseballs are made. Students then were assisted in putting together a baseball - not an easy job, it turns out.

"I never knew how much work it takes to make a baseball," said Izabella Adair, a third-grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Albany. "Because baseballs are pretty small."

And the Knights sent the students home with something else to cheer about; they defeated Klamath Falls, 6-4.

"Today went really well," Segel said. "I'd love to do this every year. I think we could fill this place up."

Raju Woodward can be contacted at 758-9526 or raju.woodward@lee.net.