Students learned about chemical reactions by making their own "witch's brew" with household items.
Potions class was in session on Tuesday during the S.T.E.A.M. after-school program at Cypress Creek Elementary.
Two years ago, Michelle Phelan, 5th grade teacher at Cypress Creek, and Sunnie Whittenton, a teacher's aid, formed the after school program, which focuses on learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and math in lieu of extended day.
Mondays are dedicated to science activities; Tuesdays are for tech; Wednesdays for engineering; Thursdays for the arts, led by Amie Chandley, a paraprofessional; and Fridays are for math.
The maker's space environment of the program helps the students learn at their own pace, and older students are encouraged to mentor the younger ones, Phelan said. They learn through teaching others, and everyone can implement the Four Cs of problem solving: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
Above all, there are no mistakes.
"It's hands-on learning through self-exploration," she said.
The school also collaborates with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. About 20 Cypress Creek students from kindergarten to fifth grade are paired with an Embry-Riddle pen pal, and the university's Society of Women Engineers stop by a couple times a month to work on special projects or make demonstrations.
Natalie Hahn, a junior aeronautical engineering major and president of the society, said this is part of the organization's outreach series, which involves going to elementary, middle and high school classrooms to teach and demonstrate age-appropriate science projects.
To celebrate Halloween, the engineering students decided to teach Cypress Creek students about chemical reactions using water, hydrogen peroxide, yeast, dish soap and food coloring.
Students followed all the steps with the help of the engineers to make colorful brews that overflowed out of their containers.