It’s not every day that you get served sharks in the cafeteria, but that’s exactly what the students of Eastern Lebanon County School District (ELCO) got Friday night.

Light snow flurries didn’t stop almost 300 students and family members from taking part in a Family Science Night at ELCO Middle School. Students from kindergarten through 5th grade learned about the anatomy of the shark at the event.

The event included a guided shark dissection and a chemistry demonstration from “Jupiter” Jen Moorehead and the Science Explorers.

“We want to take the scare out of science,” says Moorehead, who founded the Science Explorers organization in 1999. “The goal is to help everybody learn.”

“Jupiter” Jen and two audience volunteers investigate the effects of chemical reactions.

The ELCO Education Foundation sponsored the event, which sold out a week prior. Foundation President Jessica Wenger wanted to give students a unique (and affordable) experience.

“We use our funds to give back to the students and families,” she said. Wenger added that more projects were in the works, including the construction of a school greenhouse and the purchase of new musical instruments.

“Evergreen” Eve and “Dynamite” Danielle unpack dogfish sharks for the dissection. A total of 108 sharks were brought to the cafeteria, which Moorehead thinks may have “broken a record.”

Will there be more opportunities like this in the future? ELCO Superintendent Julia Vicente hopes so.

“This is the second year we’ve sold out, so we are definitely planning similar events. The Science Explorers have hosted a number of afterschool programs for the students, and we love having them here.”

Josh Groh is a Cornwall native and writer who began reporting for LebTown in 2019. He continued to regularly contribute to LebTown while earning a degree in environmental science at Lebanon Valley College, graduating in 2021. Since then, he has lead conservation crews in Colorado and taken on additional...


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