GREENBRIER — Kids were teaching, teachers were playing and parents were enjoying all the hoopla created when everyone turned out for the math and science night called "Night at the Westside Museum" on Thursday.
Westside Elementary School was turned into a museum because of the artistic efforts of art teacher Betty Yarborough and special education teacher Rebecca Hansen. Kindergarten teacher Jodie Riggin was in charge of planning the event that involved all grades, all teachers and students and a lot of eager parents to witness their work. Riggin even involved volunteers from the East Lab of Greenbrier High School to help with the posters, art work, and popcorn stand.
The entrance to the school was decorated to resemble the front of the Smithsonian Institute as eager parents and kids lined up for the "opening." Principal Peggy Squires and Vice Principal Stephanie Newland acted as "security welcoming guards" and greeted the parents and kids lined up to get in at 6 p.m. The lobby was darkened so that more volunteer "security guards" with flashlights could direct everyone to the different exhibits, just like a real museum.
Children in the kindergarten class wore cowboy/cowgirl clothes and did "horse races" on pogo horses to test their heart rates before and after racing. Many first-grade Indians were teaching Indian signs, nature and how Indians count by illustrating with their fingers. One little Indian, Conner Boover, did a rain dance with his rain sticks. The preschool kids symbolized archaeologists by excavating for dinosaur bones in a sand box under the tutelage of Hazel Edwards, pre-K teacher.
The museum night followed an Egyptian theme for some of the older students in fourth grade. Even the teachers were excited about dressing as Egyptian princesses. There were many "Cleopatras" in the crowd. They were teaching the basics of geometry by building a square pyramid from marshmallows and toothpicks. They also taught the art of making sundials. Patsy McMillen, fifth-grade social studies teacher, said, "The sundials would really work if the sun would come out." Their time was in Roman numerals in order to learn that number system.
Third-grade "aviation experts" taught how to make two different kinds of paper airplanes, The Bald Eagle airplane and the Flying Squirrel airplane. Then the students would fly the airplane at a different booth and measure the distance flown. They learned about early flight heroes. Third-graders also showed the different sizes of planets in our system in relation to each other.
Second-graders, ages 7-8, taught space and NASA concepts and all about the solar system. Children in each class taught their display for 10 minutes. When they were not teaching, they walked around to the other displays and learned how to do other class science labs and math problem solving. The parents were eager spectators, watching their kids teach and learn. At the end of their walk-through, hot dogs, popcorn and lemonade donated by First Security Bank of Greenbrier and the Greenbrier SuperCenter were served outside.