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IMPACT Fair Makes Science Fun

How many jellybeans are equal in weight to an apple or a brick? Is your foot longer or shorter than a dollar bill? How many marbles will fill your bedroom?

Gail Marshall

Gail Marshall

A new science and mathematics outreach program will be answering those questions and many more beginning on Friday, Oct. 3, with introductory sessions that are expected to bring in hundreds of UWG faculty, staff and students, and more than 600 community teachers, children and parents on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Improving, Motivation, Performance, and Attitudes of Children and Teachers, or IMPACT, is a grant-funded program that offers a wide range of courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to children and educators in grades K-8.

Dr. Sharmistha Basu-Dutt, associate professor of chemistry and Engineering Studies coordinator, and Gail Marshall, assistant professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, wrote a grant proposal for the program and received $100,000 in May from the Community Foundation of West Georgia on behalf of the Alice Huffard Richards Fund for the IMPACT program.

Basu-Dutt and Marshall then spent their summer planning the activities for the fall, spring and summer sessions. “IMPACT will give children an opportunity to experience science, math and engineering concepts in challenging age-appropriate sessions that is beyond curriculum-driven classroom activities,” said Basu-Dutt. “We want the kids to have fun at these sessions and at the same time equip them with valuable problem solving, critical thinking and team skills that will be useful for them in all aspects of life.”

IMPACT also offers elementary school teachers an opportunity to use pre-assembled science kits to engage their students in hands-on science learning in their classrooms.

The children's program is scheduled for six Saturdays throughout the school year and in two weeklong sessions during the summer. The teacher's program includes development of science kits with individual exploration of student interests, teaching tools and learning resources to use in their classrooms.

To kick off the program, there are two free IMPACT sessions scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. Master of exciting demonstrations and professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, will wow the audience.  

The remaining sessions have a registration fee of $5 for each child.  All registration fees will be refunded in the form of science kit awards during a celebration event at the end of the program.

For more information on IMPACT, please visit or e-mail or call 678-839-6611.

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