Mad Scientist Isosceles Isaac taught local 4-11 year olds how to “Build A Better World With Science” during four workshops held in Tarkio and Fairfax Wednesday, June 14, 2017. The workshops were sponsored by the Atchison County Library.

Isosceles Isaac was the Mad Scientist who presented four workshops on shapes and structures to children in Fairfax and Tarkio on Wednesday, June 14. Twenty-nine children attended the workshops in Fairfax and the same number participated in Tarkio.
One Mad Science workshop was designed for children age 4 – 6. That event focused on shapes, including, squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, triangles and rhombuses. Several sizes of each shape were presented to the children for them to see, sort and group by their similarities. The children were then asked to consider the sides and points of each shape. Most of the children were stumped by the scientist’s question about the circle. “How many sides and points does a circle have?” Answer: “One continuous side and no points!” The kids broke into groups of three and had fun using their arms, legs and bodies to form shapes. Making a square with three people proved to be very challenging. The children were introduced to a geoboard, more commonly known as a pegboard. They wrapped rubber bands around the pegs to form different shapes. Each participant in this group received a plastic cup with a small amount of water and a few colorful foam noodles. Wetting the noodles made them stick together and the children could make shapes out of them. The cups and foam noodles were a take home gift for each child.
The following children attended this workshop in Fairfax: Eli Auwarter, Wendy Hurst, Ava Oswald, Dominick Bradbury, Brenna Kingery, Emma Ohlensehlen, Delaney Oswald, Kenzie Oswald, Anthony Valasquez, Alex Wintz, Deyton Burke, and Josh Valasquez.
These children attended the Tarkio workshop for the age 4 – 6 group: Owen Bruce, Charlee Duran, Zeke Gebhards, Winston Hogue, Brynleigh Lopez, Eli Lundy, Tanner Madox, Caroline Powell, Graceyn Reeves, Owen Vette, and Bryar Wennihan.
The second Mad Science workshop focused on super structures including buildings, bridges and arches. It was designed for children ages 7 – 12. Scientist Isaac demonstrated four forces and the effects they have on structures. The forces were compression, tension, torsion and shearing. The children performed tasks that demonstrated compression and tension. Two people pressing hands together demonstrates compression and pulling pinkies with a partner is a demonstration of tension. Torsion develops when some materials are twisted or braided giving more strength or additional tension to those materials. Shearing was demonstrated to be a sliding or horizontal movement force. The scientist demonstrated the ability of squares, triangles and cylinders to withstand the force of compression. Lesson learned: corners don’t withstand compression. Structures are weakened by their corners, so squares are weaker than triangles, triangles are weaker than cylinders and cylinders are the strongest of the three shapes! The kids really enjoyed the demonstration of how you weaken a cylinder. You dent its sides until points (corners) appear in the cylinder, and it will collapse much easier when pressure or weight is applied! The workshop concluded with talk of the arch structure. The famous Gateway Arch in Saint Louis and McDonald’s arches were mentioned. Groups of children were given materials to build an arch. They found out that getting an arch to hold its shape was impossible without the forces of compression and tension. Every participant in this workshop received a cardboard model bridge to take with them as a memento of the event.
Children from Fairfax who enjoyed this workshop were: Tyler Duering, Knox Oswald, Henry Smith, Mack Smith, Mason Kingery, Alex Martin, Anna Ohlensehlen, Carter Oswald, Austin Helfers, Joaquin Hill, KayDee Duering, Cyle Gilpin, Kendall Kingery, Bryon Ohlensehlen, Trenton Kingery, Kendall Straub and Trinity Wooten.
Tarkio participants ages 7 -11 who learned some cool stuff were: Kelsey Avrett, Beth Clark, Gabe Gebhards, Janae Harbin, Dalton Hogue, Savana Lindsay, Taytum Maddox, Chase Pearson, Maddox Pearson, Bo Peregrine, Jax Peregrine, Kade Pridell, Madison Quattrocchi, Sophia Riley, Isaac Vette, Zander Wallace and Brody Wennihan.
The Mad Science workshops were sponsored by the Atchison County Library. They introduced the Library’s summer reading theme, Build a Better World. Summer reading programs start in July.
Mad Science of Greater Kansas City is part of a national entertainment and education franchise that promotes science for children ages K through 12.