A Love Of Science

For nearly 20 years, the Emmanuel Baptist Church youth group has partnered with Cummins Engine Inc. to host a science fair at S.G. Love Elementary School.

The program allows a Cummins employee to act as a mentor for a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church youth group. The mentors help the youth group members complete a science project, which they present at a science fair hosted at S.G. Love Elementary School.

According to Sue Blake, youth leader for Emmanual Baptist, a wide variety of projects were on display at this year’s science fair, including: catapults, wind energy, memory, space shuttles, solar ovens, electricity, crystals, solar rovers, sound, speakers, electric generators and others.

“The whole purpose of the program is that every kid comes out of it knowing that they are a winner,” said Blake. “They go in giving their best effort and do what they are capable of doing. Even their parents play a big part in this by working with the kids at home. There is so much benefit in everybody coming together to work together. And, I want to thank Love School for opening their doors and allowing us the opportunity to host this at their school.”

The Emmanuel Baptist Church youth group is comprised of students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Members who are in kindergarten through fourth grade are in a group of their own called “Future Scientists,” run by Marcella Keith and Debbie Williams, while everyone else is in the normal youth group. The Future Scientists worked on a collaborative project, while the other individuals were paired with a mentor from Cummins.

“They learn so much besides just math and science,” said Blake. “It helps them with public speaking, the opportunity to work on a project and builds their world of knowledge – it opens doors for them.”

Acting judges for the event include: Harry Snellings, chief of the Jamestown Police Department; John Osbourne and Sylvester Kuma, Cummins employees; and Cristie Herbst, retired editor of The Post-Journal. Angie Peck, Cummins human resources representative, oversees and helps coordinate the six-week project.

Best Applied Science was awarded to Madison Walker-Blake, Emmanual Baptist youth group member, and Jayanth Athreya, mentor. Best Presentation was awarded to Maya Larson, Emmanual Baptist youth group member, and Arvind Ramanmurthy, mentor. Best In Show was awarded to Tahjay Joyner, Emmanual Baptist youth group member, and Anoop Joy, mentor.

“We don’t go in there and say that one project is better than another,” said Blake. “But, we do have an overall, and it’s not like the rest of the kids didn’t do just as well.”

Athreya, operations manager of the assembly line for Cummins, acted as a mentor for Walker-Blake. Athreya is originally from Bangalore, India, and has been working at Cummins for eight months. According to Athreya, the experience of being a mentor brought him back to the fundamentals of mathematics and physics he learned in eighth through 10th grade.

“It was like a refresher for me,” said Athreya. “It really gave me an opportunity to go back and learn while helping someone else understand what one needs to learn and how to apply what you learn. As an international, it also showed me how much more applied the students’ education system is here. It was nice to see how dedicated they are toward the stuff they do and learn in school. It also gives Cummins the chance to give back to the community.”

The Emmanuel Baptist Church youth group is open to the community, and anyone is welcome to join.

Emmanuel Baptist Church is located at 53 23rd St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 487-9860.