Beth Wood of Indiana Wilds in Woodburn, Indiana, gave Van Wert Elementary students a first-hand look at wildlife this week. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Beth Wood of Indiana Wilds in Woodburn, Indiana, gave Van Wert Elementary students a first-hand look at wildlife this week. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – For the fourth year in succession, Van Wert elementary students who will be incoming into grades 3-6 next fall are gathering at the S.F. Goedde Building to participate in this year’s, “Great Science Adventure.”

This year’s theme is, “water and its importance in our environment.” Marty Hohman, who is heading up the event, noted that there are 70 students involved in this year’s adventure.

Hohman said that the seeds for the event were sown and organized several years ago when fellow teacher science teacher Mary Kramer approached her and asked her if she would be willing to plan such an event. That was the beginning of the Science Adventure, which, over the last four years, has covered topics such as Rocks and Minerals, Human Body (Hohman’s favorite), Solar System and this year’s discussion in “water.”

“We really appreciate the help of Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation for getting on board this year and helping with this,” said Hohman. “We’ve talked about such topics as ‘What Causes Pollution,’ ‘Water Cycles,’ ‘Weather,’ and many other water-related topics. We even had H20 Olympics.”

One of the special outside presentations came from Beth Wood with, “Indiana Wilds,” in Woodburn. Woods brought eight different animals and explained to students about the ways that the animals adapt themselves to water.

One day, presenters from Science Central came and talked about the weather and how water is connected to it, said Hohman.

“The purpose of this is to promote science in a way that kids get excited about it,” said Hohman. “We have to worry too much about testing in the school year. This way we can give them things they don’t get in school."

“We chose water because we could introduce everything water means in our community and environment,” Hohman continued. “We walked to the stream one day and saw a crayfish. That really brought these animals home to the students.”

“When they said that they needed help for this, I signed up because I knew that it would help me prioritize other activities in my life,” said Sydney Maller, who will be a junior at Van Wert this year.

“I would like to be an engineer because there are not that many women who are engineers,” continued Maller. “I would like to be a mechanical or aerospace engineer.

“I like this because it gives me a chance to work with others,” added Maller.

Sam Price who will also be a junior this fall, said he opted to get involved because he loves being around children and he also hopes to learn some things.

“I am hoping that this will help challenge me in some ways to be more responsible in tough situations,” said Price.

“I love doing this,” said Hohman. “Kids come up to me during class in the school year and say, ‘what are we going to do in science camp this year.’ I get excited right along with them. It helps connect them with other resources and people.”