Oak Park has a surprising amount of scientists living in our small village, and OPEF is thrilled to be able to take advantage of their talents, generosity, and knowledge. Check out some of the photos of our volunteer Science Alliance scientists visiting classrooms.

At Mann, Dr. Jordi Cabana Jimenez used Mentos and Coke to teach about chemistry and chemical reactions. Students learned that chemistry is part of their every day life, since chemistry is all about making changes.


At Irving, Craig Hendee from the Middle Eastern Falcon Research Group made a return visit bringing in over 500 feathers from some amazing birds he raises. The kids sorted feathers to determine to which bird they belonged.


At Hatch students worked with Dr. Katie Hulse on mixtures and solutions. Students were tasked with the question of what is the difference between mixtures and solutions. They then developed a hypothesis about whether two items will become a mixture or solution when added together, then tested the hypothesis by actually mixing the components and seeing what happened. They tested 4 combinations: baking soda and vinegar, sugar and water, oil and water, and rocks and water.


At Whittier, students worked with forensic scientist Dr. Brent Friesen. Dr. Friesen informed the class of a crime and students attemptedĀ  to solve the mystery by identifying unknown white powders based on how they reacted with known solutions.

Also at Whittier, students worked with Dr. Brian Mitchell of Northwestern University to see whose hands were the dirtiest!

Thanks to all the scientists who share their talents and passions with our students.