Hamilton College welcomed 3rd grade students from Oneida’s Seneca Street Elementary School to the Taylor Science Center on June 3 for a number of educational presentations on psychology, biology, physics and chemistry.

The students began their morning with a presentation by Professor of Psychology Jennifer Borton focusing on the connection between the eyes and the brain, and how that connection helps construct human perceptions of the world. Examples of optical illusions that utilize weaknesses in said connection to fool the brain were demonstrated.


Groups were then formed that distributed students among the three remaining subjects. Professor of Chemistry Karen Brewer and her students explained how fireworks are given their distinct colors, and demonstrated producing different colors by igniting various chemicals.


Professor of Biology David Gapp discussed the various evolutionary adaptations of reptiles, bringing out live specimens including snakes, turtles, a large tortoise and an alligator with the help of animal care technician Sally Corney and biology summer research students.

Finally, Director of Laboratories Adam Lark and science technician Steve Pullman illustrated various applications of the physics of pressure: sealing containers by draining them of air, firing ping pong balls across the room utilizing pressure changes, and even lying on a bed of nails.

The students then enjoyed lunch in the Science Center’s atrium before finishing their days with one final demonstration as they boarded their busses: the eruption of a man-made volcano in the parking lot.

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