Local scientist’s show awes youngsters

Kent Evensen demonstrates an experiment to students at Paul Elementary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a volunteer student, Evensen shows students how soda and vinegar react to each other.

PAUL – Students at Paul Elementary experienced first-hand the wonders of science recently, as  a local science enthusiast presented an all day Science Experiment Show for the students.

On Friday, February 24, 2012, approximately 100 first graders at Paul Elementary spent an hour in rapt attention watching scientist Kent Evensen conduct awe-inspiring science experiments. His first experiment was green, booger-y goo he made with simple household items, and the kids groaned with delighted disgust.

Evensen conducted twelve colorful and exciting experiments with household products in the course of an hour. Crowd favorites included dry ice in Dawn detergent that looks like brains, a dollar bill he lit on fire with alcohol that taught about sweat, and vinegar and baking soda in a film canister that exploded and shot the cap about 20 feet into the air. The room full of 6 and 7 year olds was bursting with energy and excitement for the magic of science.

As a child, Evensen remembers his father poured a mixture of water and baking soda on a battery that wasn’t working because of acid corrosion. He marveled as he watched it fizz and clean the corrosion and wanted to know why it worked. This early memory was the start of Evensen’s ever growing curiosity.

Although Evensen was curious about science he didn’t believe he was smart enough to be a scientist, so he signed up for a music degree at Weber State in Utah. He quickly decided that he didn’t like the intense rehearsal schedule, so he dropped his classes and signed up for whatever classes still had openings. One of those classes was chemistry. On the first day of class, his chemistry professor put on a magic show using science, and Evensen’s life was forever changed. Evensen realized that, “Science isn’t just numbers, equations and formulas. There is science around us every day and I wanted to understand how things worked.” He ended up majoring in Medical Technology and minored in Microbiology. Science satisfies Evensen’s great curiosity.

Kent Evensen works at Cassia Regional Medical Center as an Application System Technology Analyst. Evensen is also very involved in theater in the Mini-Cassia area, and enjoys acting in and directing theatre, including his current show, Dear Edwina, which opens March 9th with a cast of local children. His passion for both science and theater shows in his exciting presentation. At Paul Elementary, Evensen spent 7 hours presenting his show to every grade, totaling approximately 400 students. The children earned the reward from their participation in the Accelerated Reader program run by the school’s Parent/Teacher Organization.

Why would Evensen take the time out of his life to do science shows for children? Evensen started his science show years ago for the Cub Scout program in the Mini-Cassia area. The word has spread, and he has found himself presenting to many schools around the area including Raft River, Rupert Elementary, Oakley High School, Heyburn Elementary, and Declo Junior High this year. Kids of all ages enjoy the show.

“I love to see kids find themselves and excel – whatever that means to each individual. It is so fun to be part of the discovery process with them,” said Evensen. “Children tend to try to blend in and be like everyone else. I want to inspire them to accept that nerdy or quirky part of themselves and be courageous enough to stand apart.”

 

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