, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 23, 2013

Kids can become mad scientists

Mad Science programs set for summer

Mad Science for Health Explorers demonstrations were conducted at area schools to get seventh-graders interested in summer science programs.

“It gives us a chance to begin laying a foundation to connect kids to many different health care programs,” said Lisa Wade Raasch, the health care coalition’s executive director.

Alice Robertson Junior High School students winced when Mad Scientist Derick Brock attached pig’s lungs — one fresh and pink, the other dark and tumor-ridden — on a plastic frame.  

Brock then pumped air into the organs to show how they expanded. It was one of several wince-worthy moments Brock shared during Mad Science programs which were also held at Hilldale and Fort Gibson middle schools.

The Eastern Oklahoma Health Care Coalition is seeking such health explorers for two summer camps set for July.

• Camp MD, July 8 to 12, is geared to showing seventh- and eighth-graders how to be medical detectives.

• MASH Camp, July 15 to 19, introduces students in ninth through 12th grades to careers in health care.

AR science teacher Marybeth Flusche, who volunteered at the camps last summer, said, “Kids loved it. It got students interested in heath care careers.”

Brock used hand pumps, coffee filters, funnels and a borax goo to demonstrate how different parts of the body worked, as well as how smoking and junk food affect the body.

Students used the hand pumps to see how the heart pumps blood through the body and through its chambers. Brock told the kids, who were 12 and 13 years old, to “keep pumping for 45 years.”

“My heart has never stopped working,” Brock said. “Your heart began working before you were born.”

Students also poured water through a filter filled with molasses and other gunk and noticed how the water turned murky and brown.

“What do you want to put in your body,” Brock said.

Seventh-grader Darnell Hinson said he liked the way Brock showed how the body worked.

“It’s just very interesting,” he said.

Mad Science is not part of the summer programs. However, Raasch said the camps offer all sorts of interesting opportunities.

“They learned hands-only CPR, proper hand-washing techniques, how to dress wounds,” Raasch said.

The camps not only are free, but offer a $50 stipend for students who show professional attributes and dress professionally, Raasch said.

Each session is open to 24 students.

Raasch said students may apply by going to the Coalition’s website at or the Facebook page, EOK Health. Deadline to apply is May 24, she said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or

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