Bethesda high school student creates visiting lab for kids

A rising senior at a Montgomery County, Maryland, high school has come up with an ingenious way to entertain children stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic and teach them a thing or two about science.

Walter Johnson High School student Olivia Michael, 17, of Bethesda, has created a visiting science lab that she will set up in the frontyard, backyard or in the driveway.

She even brings goggles for the kids.

“I’ve been a summer camp counselor for the past three years and with the coronavirus shutting everything down for the summer … I decided to come up with my own way to keep busy during the summer and still be able to work with kids,” said Michael, a member of the National Honor Society in Science.

Parents sign up to book the visiting lab at the page she created for “At Home Kids Science Lab.”

Olivia Michael
Olivia Michael, 17, is teaching children about science during the summer. (Courtesy Dorene Michael)

“It’s like a little drive-thru science lab, I’ll bring it to you, you don’t have to do any work, just show up and be ready for fun,” Michael said.

There are hourlong sessions on “Water Fireworks,” “Elephant’s Toothpaste” and “Rainbow Bubble Snakes.”

“My favorite is the ‘Color Changing Slime.’ Basically, everyone is obsessed with slime. So I decided to do that and teach them how the temperature can effect the colors of it. And, there’s another one where I can make a hovercraft with just a CD and a balloon, and I can teach them why it works,” Michael said.

The slots for the visiting science lab have been filling fast at $5 per child or $10 for the family.

“I think it’s a fun idea, especially since they really can’t do much during the summer, but also it helps them just keep growing and learning and showing them that learning can be fun,” Michael said.

She hopes to study biology in college and hopes to become a genetic counselor or possibly a nurse.

“Anything with biology,” Michael said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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