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Finding the fun in math, science

LAKEVILLE — Ella Hampson and Roxy Hurlburt, sixth-graders at Cornwall Consolidated School, concentrated on dusting for fingerprints under the tutelage of Hotchkiss teacher Jennifer Likar on Monday during the first math and science day program at The Hotchkiss School for students from Region One elementary schools.After inking their own fingers and carefully placing their prints on their own fingerprint chart, the students washed up and then practiced “lifting” their prints from a piece of glazed tile.The students were participating in SM&SH (or sixth-grade math & science at Hotchkiss) — a science and math day for Region One sixth-graders, modeled after the popular Region One Arts Day for fourth-graders.The event was organized by four Hotchkiss teachers and included a lecture on Rubik’s cube by Ian Winokur, a math teacher from Massachusetts; and a variety of 50-minute workshops on topics including polyhedrons, electrical circuits, chemistry, probability and computers.About 130 students attended from Region One. Hotchkiss students had the day off from classes.Likar, a Hotchkiss biology teacher, handled a workshop in forensic identification. She began with a software program that allows eyewitnesses to reconstruct faces from memory.The students were shown a face briefly — 10 seconds or so — and then discussed among themselves which lips, or eyes, which shape of face or style of hair was correct.The students were rather withering in their assessment of the “perps.”“He had a big old nose,” said one boy, lobbying for the largest available proboscis. “The guy was ugly!”After demonstrating different techniques for dusting for prints, Likar let the kids give it a try. Ella and Roxy were meticulous, taking great care not to get the brightly colored fingerprint dust all over the place.

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