/Haliburton County’s kids turn living rooms into science labs
Owen Archer and Beth Allin took part in the virtual Scientists in School presentation on Nov. 30 from Algonquin Highlands, joining homeschooling kids throughout the county in conducting experiments. /Submitted

Haliburton County’s kids turn living rooms into science labs

By Sue Tiffin

An audible “wow” might have been heard across Haliburton County on the morning of Nov. 30, as kids saw right before their eyes the chemical reaction that takes place when vitamin C and baking soda are mixed with cabbage water.

More than 20 families participated in the Scientists in School virtual presentation together, with kids in one household sharing the limited number of kits available so that more could participate. Organized by Robin Dillane through a local parenting community Facebook page, the presentation was offered free of charge due to a donation from an anonymous person who saw her post organizing the session online and offered to pay the cost of the event so everyone could take part without worrying about a fee. Participants picked up science kits containing all materials needed – including cups, containers, straw spoons, craft sticks, Epsom salts, flour, baking soda, vitamin C crystals and red cabbage powder – from the porch of Dillane’s Minden home.

Dillane, mom to Michael, had been planning a similar presentation through school council at Stuart Baker Elementary School in the last school year, but when schools closed after the pandemic was declared, the in-person presentation had to be cancelled. When she saw a virtual presentation being offered to Guelph library patrons, she began organizing one for kids throughout Haliburton County.
“Information just seems to find me, so no idea how I saw the Facebook post for the Guelph library,” she laughed.

Kids from all corners of the county took part, including members of the homeschooling community, and those learning at home through the TLDSB online learning program. Students ranged in age, with three-year-olds and teenagers all following along with an online educator – and a little help from parents at home – together.
“So far I have heard good feedback,” said Dillane after the presentation. “I hope that everyone had fun and learned something new.”

Response was quick from participants that another presentation would be welcome in the new year.
“I think it went well, the scientists are very easy to work with and all the parents and kids have been so supportive, picking up kits, and making sure they we logged in and were ready to participate,” said Dillane.
Families interested in participating or donors interested in helping can contact Dillane at robindillane@haliburton-mortgages.com or via Facebook.