The remnants of Hurricane Florence’s outer bands were passing over Savannah, and a chance of rain was in the forecast. Even so, I risked it, and took Sidewalk Science Center out to Forsyth Park. I set up the table, waited, spoke with the professor of a nearby university who was curious of what I was doing, waited some more…and then the rain came. Only fifteen minutes after I set up, it was pouring. It wasn’t a thunderstorm, just a steady, heavy rain, the first (and only) rain Savannah received directly from Hurricane Florence.
I had strategically positioned myself about a hundred feet from the playgrounds in Forsyth Park, a prime position for SSC when families leave the playground. As the rain poured down, all the families from the playground had taken shelter under the stage canopy in Forsyth, about 300 feet from where I was set up on the sidewalk.
At this point, the rain was coming down so hard that I decided to pack up the table…but I also decided I wouldn’t just leave: I’d go to the canopy and bring the science experiments to everyone there!
And that’s exactly what I did.
I walked over, set my table down against a pillar, then went over to the group of parents, introduced myself, and asked if I could show their kids some science experiments. A few seconds later, eight kids were gathered around, ranging in age from about 3 to 11 years old.
I went through several of the experiments, which was more than enough to entertain all of them, because they were each so keen to try them out for themselves! After a while, even some of the parents got in on it, helping the kids untangle beads when they did the gravity chain experiment, testing out how the giant magnet slid through the BIG pipe, and looking through the diffraction rainbow glasses to see what their kids were excitedly clamoring about.
In the end, all the kids gathered in a group, and on the count of three, me recording, they shouted, “WE LOVE SCIENCE!!”
This experience proved not only the versatility of Sidewalk Science Center in any situation, but also that Sidewalk Science Center is a welcome resource in the community. And for kids to have the opportunity to engage with science after an evening at the playground got rained out, it just shows how SSC truly has the potential to become a major influence around the world.