Expo brings fun, knowledge to forefront

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum and Study Center trustee Ella Jean Mack uses a black light to show Charlie Turner the fluorescent effects of certain minerals during the Science, Health and Safety Expo at PES Monday

Valuable information was combined with fun, interactive presentations at the annual Piggott Elementary Science, Health and Safety Expo held Monday at the elementary gymnasium.

Hundreds of students and adults visited the two-hour event, which covered a wide range of topics.

"It was fantastic," PES parent center coordinator Mona Scott said of the expo. "It was one of the best we've had. The students and adults enjoyed seeing all of the displays. Everyone who had a presentation did an outstanding job and really made this a memorable expo."

Among the most popular activities was the Piggott Fire Department's display featuring the Arkansas Children's Home Fire House simulator, helping students learn what to do in the event of a fire. Firefighters Brian Haley and Jason Simpson presented the demonstration to hundreds of parents and students. The structure would actually fill with smoke, showing what a house fire was like firsthand in a safe environment. Participants were instructed on how to quickly and safely make their way from the smoke-filled environment.

The Pollard Fire Department had its firetruck on display, offering students the opportunity to see the truck and its working up-close. Students also were given free coloring books, pencils and bracelets.

The Piggott Police Department presented a display of drug paraphernalia and gave information on the effects drug use can have on the body. Chief Bill Alstadt was present to help students identify harmful substances, encouraging each visitor to pursue a healthy life without the influence of illegal drugs.

Debbie Baker of the Clay County Cooperative Extension Agency presented Germ City, which provided much information on the proper way to wash hands in order to eliminate germs. The demonstration, with assistance from Angie Welborn and Sue Blair, used a blacklight booth to help better show what areas of the kids' hands had been cleaned properly and what areas were not.

Rose Hancock and David Leach of the Clay County Sheriff's Department shared information on child ID packets, complete with fun giveaways.

The Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum and Study Center presented a large display of minerals and rocks from its vast collection. Visitors were able to catch a glimpse of rare and beautiful formations, including a special fluorescent display. Additional information was provided by center representatives Don Roeder, Jim Richardson, Ella Jean Mack and Deanna Dismukes, who answered questions about each formation and its rarity.

NASA Solar System Ambassador Kenneth Renshaw presented a display of moon rocks gathered by Apollo astronauts. Renshaw also presented pieces recovered from an actual meteorite and a display of the solar system.

Kimberley Donner of the Clay County Health Unit spoke with students about the hazards of tobacco use. A display allowed students to see the damages which can be caused by smokeless tobacco.

Piggott Community Hospital staff provided complimentary blood tests for cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure. PCH also offered information on important health tips in addition to providing future nurses and doctors with an opportunity to learn more about the medical profession.

An underwater world was on display through the traveling aquarium provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The large aquarium offered a glimpse of a collection of fish and other aquatic life native to the state.

Dr. Elizabeth Kilgore, Autumn Turner and Teresa Beaver of Progressive Eye Center welcomed guests with important information on vision and sight preservation.

Cindy Cathey, representing the dental office of Dr. Steven White, DDS, encouraged their visitors to take the necessary precautions to protect their teeth. Cathey provided visitors with complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste to help promote good dental habits.

A number of prizes were presented during the event. Door prizes were awarded to Meghan Woodard, Robyn Ballard, Stephanie Howell, Logan Ralph, Devin Beck, Brian Haley and Deanna Robinson. Emily Trosper and Yurit Bautista each won special gift bags provided by Dr. White.

Elementary principal Leean Mann, sixth grade science teacher Veleda Langley and Scott express appreciation to all exhibitors for sharing their time and expertise during the Science, Health and Safety Expo.

"We want to thank all of the presenters who took part this year," Scott said. "Their support was just outstanding. We're very fortunate to have that type of community support. It means a lot to everyone involved, especially the students."

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