Family Science Nights in Haviland provide a learning experience for students and their parents.

Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark, the process of erosion, the anatomy of a natural catastrophe are some of the topics presented at Family Science Nights in Haviland.

Working out of the Heart of America Science Resource Center, a group of presenters give hands-on activities in a science atmosphere with a biblical perspective, said presenter Jerry Simmons, aka DocRock, who is also a middle school teacher in Haviland.

Response to the activities has been good with a group of 17 last week. The number of people depends on the weather and school activities. A lot of dads are coming with their child and once in a while they get both parents. A group from Pretty Prairie come once to experience the activity.

The classes are given from 6:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. on Thursdays at the Center located next to U.S. 54 on the south side of Haviland.

The activities are designed for grade levels 3-8 and provide an opportunity for parents and grandparents to do creation science activities alongside their parents. Children in grades K-2 are welcome to come and watch. Science nights are free for USD 474 families and the Haviland Recreation Commission pays for the sessions.

The remaining sessions are Feb. 8, 15, 12 and March 1. A previous activity, led by Steven King of Barclay College, focused on new research into the size of dinosaurs and if they could have fit on Noah's Ark. There was a session on how birds fly and migrate such long distances.

In a future activity, Simmons will team with presenter Stan Bryant, a pastor at Rozel, who takes people on archaeological and paleontology trips in the Utica area. The pair will present the process of catastrophes caused by earthquakes, volcanos, meteor impacts on land and water, tsunamis and more.

In a later activity, Simmons will talk about fossils and their relationship with geological layers.

Another lesson will consider the impact of rocks on water and sand plus how water under pressure impacts sand and its relationship to sedimentation.

Another presenter, Robin Jackson, a professor at Central Christian in McPherson, teaches chemistry and the intricacies of matter.

These are very much hands-on activities and they are for the whole family.

"We feel family is a very important part of education," Simmons said. "It's great to see them (parents and children) working together."

The Bible is also an important part of these activities. They provide science activities and attach it to Biblical terms.

All lessons have to be approved by the Haviland Recreation Committee, made up by a group of Parents, who pay for the activities.