Spangler Salutes Fred Scherrer

The kids at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School love Fred Scherrer.

The kids at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lakewood, Colorado loveFred Scherrer. He makes science come alive for 4th, 5th and 6thgraders. Most days you’ll find him in his white lab coat,hunched over some kind of hands-on experiment that gets his kidsall amped up and ready to learn.

Experiment

The “Fatima Flyer” is one experiment example. It’s a specially designed racer that demonstrates Newton’s Second Law of Motion by showing how a rolling car increases its acceleration when its mass is increased. To help his kids learn about the chemistry behind solutions and precipitates, he wows ’em with vials filled with orange foam and “alien eyeballs.”

He also has a great time with a Vortex Cannon. Made of a bucket and a rubber sheet, it demonstrates the fact that air occupies space. A “ball” of air shoots out of the cannon, similar to rings of smoke blown by a talented cigar smoker (not that any of the students light up a stogie, mind you!). Scherrer loves to see the reactions of kids brave enough to try out his hair-raising static electricity machine or courageous enough to taste his soda pop concoctions (including bubble gum).

Then of course, there’s the ever-popular “burning of the grade sheet.” The kids love that one too, along with the fact that they’re learning some chemistry basics in a very creative way.