Trailblazer Experience offers hands on science for youngsters

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By Toni Walker
HUGHES SPRINGS – Students from around the area had the opportunity to learn different aspects of science with hands on experiences, thanks to the Tocker Foundation and the Hughes Springs Area Public Library.
The Trailblazer Experience, which is operated by the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME), was set up at the library on July 11. The experience comes inside a large trailer, which is decked out with a variety of hands-on science experiments. The Trailblazer Experience travels all around the state, setting up at schools. The Tocker Foundation has provided the opportunity for 40 rural libraries to host the experience over a two-month span this summer, including the recent stop in Hughes Springs.
The Trailblazer Experience offers experiments in five different categories: energy for tomorrow, speed, space, weather, and medicine. From static electric balls and solar panels and their uses to using microscopes and stethoscopes, children were able to do the activities, rather than just observe. Children were even given the opportunity to play weatherman, learning how a green screen is used to project the maps behind them.
“I have gotten a lot of calls about the program,” said librarian Jean Austin. “The Tocker Foundation, who purchased our furniture through a grant, works hard to support communities, and the way they feel they can best help the community is to help the local libraries. So they are the ones who paid to bring this experience here, as well as to 40 libraries during the summer.”

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