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Carrollton Students Tricked & Treated into Learning at the POWER Center's Spooky Science Lab

Eric Curts

Carrollton High School’s ninth grade students were greeted by fog, cobwebs, dancing lasers, and creepy music the morning of Thursday, October 29 when they entered the inaugural Spooky Science Lab at Carrollton’s POWER Training Center.

Almost unrecognizable, teachers in costume gravely pointed students toward the door to the school garden where they were jolted by the flames and popping eyes of the Blast-o-Lantern—an explosive chemistry lesson that students want to learn over and over again!

Next, students rotated around five stations where gourds, pumpkins, mirrors, and other seasonally-themed props helped them learn scientific lessons, such as Bernoulli’s Principle, The Law of Conservation of Energy, motion aftereffects, and the concepts behind optical illusions. Sound waves and vibrations were explored as students watched reflected lasers dance to the bass tones of scary movie soundtracks, and, as a souvenir, each student made a cup-and-string apparatus to take “ghost laughter” with them for the rest of the day. 

Most mysterious of all was Frankenstein’s Laboratory station where students stuck their hands into dark boxes to feel “worms,” “eyeballs,” “a dead lady’s hand,” “monster boogers,” and other ooey, gooey things while trying to guess what those objects really were.

Finally, the students got to enjoy a seasonal favorite fruit and participate in a real scientific study. The Midwest Apple Improvement Association provided four new, unnamed apple varieties for students to try. They voted for their favorites, and their feedback will be used to help the organization select varieties to patent and release to market.

The Spooky Science Lab is a true embodiment of STEM education: teaching science through hands-on activities, incorporating a variety of technologies, and providing real-world connections to scientific research.

And that’s not all! On Friday, October 30, high school students became the teachers as they led Carrollton Elementary second graders through the Spooky Science Lab and taught the same concepts that they had learned the day before. 

About the Author

Amy Miller is the Grants and Community Services Coordinator at Carrollton Exempted Village School District. She manages the POWER Training Center and Outdoor Learning Campus, a new STEM program that was funded by the first two rounds of Straight A funding. The POWER campus offers hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages and for all subjects at Carrollton Schools. 

To hear more about the POWERful things happening at Carrollton Exempted Village School District, visit