"ARCS & SPARKS -- The Science of Electricity" visited Freedom Elementary School last week with hair-raising results.
The education program, sponsored by the Maryland Science Center, gave fourth-grade pupils a new appreciation for electricity and its wonders.
Through a fast-paced program of experiments and explanations, Nicole Hord and Terry Nixon gave the pupils a firsthand look at the effects of something they cannot see -- electricity.
By sending a charge through a pickle, Nixon demonstrated the conducting ability of the pickle's salt. A lemon was also a good conductor because of its acidity.
Pupils learned that while platinum, silver and gold are excellent conductors, they are too expensive for everyday use and so our homes are wired using copper.
Pupils were advised to learn where safety equipment is in their homes and where to find the fuse box or circuit breaker.
Safety was foremost in many pupils' minds.
"You shouldn't play with it [electricity] because it can shock you and even kill you," said Taylor Morton, 9.
An experiment using static electricity had the children laughing aloud as the long blond hair of Kelly Sorensen stood out all over her head. Wayne Covington had packing peanuts dance off his head and out of his hand.
The children jumped as a mild electrical charge was sent racing through a chain of pupils holding hands.
"I learned that electricity can flow very, very, very fast," said Megan McConnell, 9.
Piney Run events
The Nature Center at Piney Run Park will hold two preschool Halloween parties Friday -- one from 10: 30 a.m. to noon, and the second from 1 p.m. to 2: 30 p.m. Children ages 2 to 5 are invited.
A puppet show, games, treats and outdoor activities (weather permitting) will be offered. Those attending should wear a costume. Cost is $3 for members and $4 for nonmembers.
A children's nature batik program will be offered from 1 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. Nov. 3. Youngsters ages 6 to 10 are invited to create a nature hanging using this technique. Cost is $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers.
Vagn Flyger, a mammalogist from the University of Maryland, College Park, will be the guest speaker at the nature center Nov. 3. He will speak about the whitetail deer in Maryland. Flyger has earned an international reputation through his work on mammals in North and South America during the past 50 years.
The evening will begin with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Families whose last name begins with A-H should bring a salad dish; last names I-R, a main dish; and S-Z, a dessert. Cost is $5 for member families and $7 nonmember families. Ages 6 and older may attend.
Information or registration: 410-795-6043.
It's time for holiday bazaars and festivals to start popping up all over the county.
One of the first is the annual "Christmas in the Country" bazaar sponsored by Oakland United Methodist Church. The bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 7: 30 p.m. Nov. 5, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at the church hall, 5969 Mineral Hill Road.
Handmade crafts, wreaths, pinecone baskets, soups, sandwiches, cookies, candies, cakes and more will be available.
Liberty High School's Class of 2000 will sponsor Basket Bingo on Nov. 12 at the school, 5855 Bartholow Road in Eldersburg.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. and games will begin at 7 p.m. Light fare will be available.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Call 410-552-1918 to reserve tickets.
Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.