PTO Today's 2014 Parent Group of the Year for Outstanding Family Event brought together school and community members with its free Family Science Night.


In one room, students examined a fingerprint under a microscope. In another, they observed high school students dissecting frogs and other creatures. In yet another, students tried to blow up a balloon inside a soda bottle and learned about air pressure.

The free Family Science Night at East Oakview Elementary in Grand Rapids, Mich., brought together school families and members of the community. In its second year, attendance for the Parent Teacher Committee’s science night doubled, to approximately 90 participants. The K-4 school has 410 students.

A school parent who teaches high school science spearheaded the event, selecting 10 science experiments conducted in 10 classrooms. More than 20 high school students led demonstrations and explained scientific concepts. A chain retailer provided additional volunteers and a $500 grant that covered supplies.

A local zoo brought in animals, including a ball python and a ferret. Other rooms featured chemistry experiments that involved burning money, extracting DNA, and creating tie-dye milk, among others.

Attendees received a card that was stamped at each experiment station for the chance to win a prize. And with the hopes of promoting science beyond that night, the PTC held a raffle for science books and experiment kits.

Interested in running your own science event? Our free Family Science Night kit has everything you need to run a great event, including planning tips, invitation flyers, and lots of science experiments!

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