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11/18/2012 6:01:00 AM
Chemicals, and Golden Valley students, react during science program
GEAR UP offering developed to pique pupils' interest
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Black Mountain students offer a range of facial expressions when Chris Holtz shows them a piece of molten iron, which he created by mixing powdered aluminum and rust and applying a little heat.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Black Mountain students offer a range of facial expressions when Chris Holtz shows them a piece of molten iron, which he created by mixing powdered aluminum and rust and applying a little heat.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Chris Holtz dips a rubber tube in liquid nitrogen, which is 196 degrees Celsius below zero. Below, the frozen tube makes a sound like a bat hitting a baseball and shatters like pottery when Holtz slams it on the floor.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Chris Holtz dips a rubber tube in liquid nitrogen, which is 196 degrees Celsius below zero. Below, the frozen tube makes a sound like a bat hitting a baseball and shatters like pottery when Holtz slams it on the floor.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


Explosions, fireballs, flying potatoes and molten iron wowed seventh- and eighth-grade students at Black Mountain School Friday during a science presentation put on by Mohave Community College chemistry instructor Chris Holtz.

Chris Holtz's wife, Diana Holtz, is Black Mountain's GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) coordinator, and figured inviting her husband to the school would be a great way to get students interested in science and math.

"Students have never seen something like this out here," said Mandy Young, the school's science teacher.

This wasn't your typical science experiment. Chris Holtz spent more than an hour showing how different chemical reactions combust, freeze and create some nifty light shows.

"Ooohs" and "ahhhs" were commonplace, the whole auditorium jumped when a balloon popped and left behind a fireball for a split second and they all laughed and clapped their hands when Chris Holtz fired a potato into the distance using a tube and some hair spray. But no matter how exciting the presentation got, students were reminded exactly why they were there.

"It's not all fun and games," Chris Holtz told the students. "There's a lot of math involved."

The GEAR UP program, which is funded by a federal grant facilitated by Northern Arizona University, put coordinators at White Cliffs Middle School, Kingman Middle School and Black Mountain School. The coordinators will stay with seventh-grade students all the way through high school and help them set postsecondary school goals, work toward them and eventually achieve them.

This first year is more about the coordinators getting to know the students rather then helping them fill out college applications. As the years go buy, the program becomes increasingly specific.

The goal is to motivate students to start thinking about the future and setting goals.

"Things like this entice them because they actually get to see it," Diane Holtz said.

She expects to bring in more local professionals to speak to students in the future and hopes to conduct career workshops as well.

It's important that students excel in science and math because even if they don't plan on becoming engineers and rocket scientists, it's important to understand that science and math are in everything, Chris Holtz said.

"To students, math and science is boring," he said. "So it's important to show them how fun it really is."

Young agreed.

"Interested students are motivated students," she said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Warren AO

"It's not all fun and games," Chris Holtz told the students. "There's a lot of math involved."

Yes. Chemistry is basically applied algebra. Physics is applied calculus. And properly applied math - particularly a good grasp of decimals - would help them understand how many orders of magnitude the measurements of barium, aluminum, and strontium are off in miscellaneous, bogus blood test results.

http://metabunk.org/threads/128-High-barium-levels-in-blood-(-Mohave-AZ-)


Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

Maybe the kids could study why there are high levels of barium, strontium and aluminum in our rain and blood? The Health Department does not care. Look into what these heavy metals do to life, all life, on this planet. Caused from Geoengineering? Yes.



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