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Hillsboro, Wichita East high school students participate in Bethel College Science Days

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Hands-on experiments in Bethel College's new Krehbiel Science Center engaged two classes of Kansas high school students who met with Bethel science professors and students during Science Days hosted by the college in December. A total of 27 students from Hillsboro High School and their teachers Ruth Baldner and Bethel alumnus Brian Kennell spent the morning of Dec. 12 with Bethel College professors, students and staff. On Dec. 16, 18 Wichita East High students and their teacher David Stigge-Kaufman, a Bethel alumnus, visited the science departments. The Wichita group included participants in the International Baccalaureate Program. Students from both high schools had been participating in on-line experiments with Bethel College professors. The visits allowed the students to see Krehbiel Science Center, meet the professors and follow up on the experiments related to rat behavior.

"The new building greatly increases our ability to host groups like these from Hillsboro and East High. Our new facility really shows off the kind of educational experiences we have been offering all along," said Jon Piper, natural sciences division chair who coordinated and participated in the Science Days activities.

Small groups of high school students participated in two sets of activities related to biology, chemistry, physics or psychology, using laboratory instruments and contemporary methods of research and experimentation.

"One of our goals was to expose these students to areas of science that may develop into careers for the students," said Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology, who also coordinated Science Days activities and directs the on-line experiments. "I think we all felt that the experience was quite positive. The students seemed interested and appreciative, and the teachers were complimentary," Krehbiel said.

Other science faculty who hosted the high school students were Gary Histand, Paul Lewis, Don Lemons, Tracy Tuttle and Richard Zerger.

"This was a neat experience for the students from Hillsboro," Brian Kennell said. "They got good hands-on demonstrations showing what science is like." The students were also pleased that they could see-- and hold-- some of the rats they have worked with in online experiments.

Completed last summer, the four-level Krehbiel Science Center at Bethel College in North Newton houses the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and psychology. The center features state-of-the-art classrooms, research areas, laboratories, and instrument and preparation rooms as well as offices for the science faculty.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.