Children learn about the sun, gravity, the solar system and more


Photos by Sherri Kolade
Layla Makki, 8, of Dearborn Heights, practices her balance during a Caroline Kennedy Library event April 10 that encourages girls to learn about science. Makki, who likes science and planets, said she enjoyed the event. The program is supported in part by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — Layla Makki held on tight to the enormous bicycle wheel in front of her as she spun around the room on a bar stool. Her long, brown hair whipped with each turn as children nearby giggled in excitement.

The “An Astronomy Program Especially for Girls” program was no average after-school astronomy lesson.

Put on by the Caroline Kennedy Library on April 10, the program featured Michigan State University students teaching kindergarten through 8th-grade students everything from maintaining balance to how far apart the planets are.

Makki, 8, of Dearborn Heights, volunteered to demonstrate how gravity works. Makki, who reads frequently about the solar system, said she wanted to know more.

“I know that the Earth and Venus are sisters because I read this book about Earth and Venus,” she said. “I really wanted to know about the whole entire solar system.”

The MSU students belong to a volunteer-student run organization known as Science Theatre; in which student volunteers venture into communities and teach children and adults about science.

One of the student volunteers, MSU sophomore Jacob Dane, said his organization travels all over Michigan to teach children and adults about the wonders of science.

“We talk about chemistry, biology, astronomy and pretty much any kind of science,” he said. “We try to make science more fun.”

The program is supported in part by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

About 30 parents and children visited the library to learn about astronomy, with an emphasis on educating girls.

Dearborn Heights Youth Librarian Jim Moir said the library likes to get children excited about learning science, literature and art.

“I think they love to see young people doing it,” Moir said. “It makes a way better program than if I get up there or if a teacher gets up there.”

Ramzieh Makki brought her daughters to the event and said her daughter Layla is very into science.

“You find girls that worry about fashion and you really want girls to further themselves in science and math,” she said after the event. “To keep them informed… the more you educate your child …and in this day and age it is important that you raise – especially girls – who are very proud of their education.”


Local students put up planets on rope to learn how far apart planets are in the solar system during a Caroline Kennedy Library event April 10, that encourages girls to learn about science. The program is supported in part by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.