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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Brothers Reece Rizzo, 7, and Harrison, 4, make ‘skin’ at Science Central’s Grossology spring break camp.
education notebook

Spring break activities had gross twist

Whether it was fashioning edible layers of skin, popping a zit, creating balloon burps or making poo putty, children had a disgustingly good time at Science Central’s Grossology camps during spring break.

The impolite camp follows the theme of the best-selling book, “Grossology,” by science teacher Sylvia Branzei.

“It’s gross, messy and good,” said 8-year-old Olivia as she designed pink, slimy pimples made of oobleck on the outside of an empty yogurt cup. Oobleck is made of cornstarch, baking soda and water and remains fluid until handled, then becomes firm to the touch. After the oobleck hardened, amid squeals of delight, the kids went to work popping their zits.

Although there was plenty of fun, participants were also learning the sciences of the human body, said Dan Headley, a science teacher at Northrop High School who volunteers to teach at Science Central’s spring break and summer camps.

“It’s all about exploring science and learning about the skin, digestive system and the functions of the human body,” Headley said.

In addition to Grossology, other camps included Spy Training101, Science of Storms, Jurassic Journey, Amusement Park Physics and Science on a Sphere Mission.

All of the camps are popular, but the Grossology camp is especially popular, Abi Martin, camp director said.

Grossology participants also made edible skin, using Jell-O for the subcutaneous layer, Fruit Roll-Ups for the dermis layer, marshmallows for fat deposits, chocolate chips for freckles or moles and licorice for hair, Martin said.

“I used lots of chocolate chips,” Adithya, 8, said of his creation. “My guy had lots of moles.”

“This is so fun ’cause it’s so messy,” 9-year-old Ben said.

From across the table, a boy named Carter chimed in matter-of-factly, “Yeah. My mom hates messes.”


•Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Study Connection is hosting its Fourth Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee April 25, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Registration for the event is due by Friday. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older to participate. To participate, sponsor or attend the event, contact the FWCS Community Programs Department at 467-8810 or email

•Area middle school students, ages 11 to 14, are invited to participate in Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s Adventure and Imagination Summer STEM Camp, which offers two one-week sessions June 23 to 27 and July 21 to 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $149 for one week or $298 for both weeks. Contact Provi Mayo at 480-2070 or for more information.

Saint Francis

•A lecture by Sister Anita Holzer, “St. Francis/Pope Francis: Don’t Forget the Poor,” has been canceled. The lecture had been scheduled for Thursday.

Trine University

•NFL veteran and ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday will deliver the commencement address May 3 at Trine University.

Education Notebook listings appear on Mondays. To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.