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Sci-Tech Center to offer children’s workshops next week

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The Sci-Tech Center of Northern New York wants all children to believe they, too, may become scientists one day.

“Science is all around us,” Executive Director Stephen A. Karon said. “We’re doing science all of the time and may not realize it. We think, ‘Gee, it got down to two below. What do I have to do to prepare for that?’”

Another common science-related activity many people do daily, he said, is assessing clouds and tracking precipitation, among other tasks.

Children will have more opportunities throughout school break next week to explore more of what science is all about during workshops at the agency, 154 Stone St., offered to children ages 3 and up. Keeping young children engaged in learning about science through fun activities, Mr. Karon said, will help dispel myths about scientists.

“The biggest one presented in kids’ cartoons and regular television shows is that scientists are mean, nasty and strange,” he said. “They’re normal people, too, like everyone else. (Our work) is making sure kids know anyone can be a scientist.”

To continue those efforts, Mr. Karon said, the nonprofit agency has gone completely volunteer — including him — to ensure the organization’s long-term viability. Various fundraisers, membership drives and donations of program materials have kept the agency afloat throughout the past few years.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re in better shape,” he said.

The more successful part of the two-story, hands-on science museum’s membership drive has been with military families, Mr. Karon said.

“For so many of them, their family isn’t around here, and they enjoy to be able to get into museums around their families for free,” he said.

A membership to the Sci-Tech Center also means program discounts, and free entry into more than 320 museums throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Sci-Tech Center typically is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays throughout the winter, but will be open during those hours daily next week to accommodate the workshop schedule.

Workshops are:

n Fingerprints — at 10:30 a.m. Monday, for children ages 3 to 8 who want to discover what fingerprints are all about and how they are used. Children will make a set of their own fingerprints.

n Wonderful Clouds — at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, for children ages 3 to 9 who want to learn about clouds and how they form. Participants will make their own cloud to take home.

n The Human Skeleton — at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, for children ages 3 to 9 who want to find out about the skeleton and how bones work to make people move. Participants will see an actual human skeleton.

nBuild Your Own Crystal Radio — at 11 a.m. Friday for children ages 9 and older who want to learn how radios work. Participants will build an AM radio that never needs batteries that they can take home.

The cost for the radio workshop is $17, or $14 for members. All other workshops are $6, or $3 for members.

For more information, call the agency at 788-1340 or visit www.scitechcenter.org.

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