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Follow the Bouncing Ball

Learning science at Rabbi Weinberg Primary School.

First- and second-graders at the Rabbi Joseph Weinberg Primary School on Falls Road probably know more about physics than the average adult.

That's because they got a slightly-disguised lesson in the subject March 21 in the program "Play Ball: Super Sports Science," part of the Maryland Science Center's Traveling Science Program.

Presenters Rob Vary and Diane Appel explained how to hone your tennis game according to whether you're playing in an icy outpost or the hot tropics. They taught the students why a racquetball bounces high off of a hard surface but barely at all off of a trampoline "Bouncy plus bouncy does not equal 'super bouncy,'" Vary said.

Then they shattered the rubber racquetball into glassy shards--after a quick dip in liquid nitrogen.

The Traveling Science Program brings "Play Ball" and dozens of other assembly and classroom presentations to more than 120,000 K-12 students each year.

More than 400 children from age two through second grade attend the early childhood center and primary school at the Julia Bindeman Center, a suburban satellite of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

For more about the Rabbi Joseph Weinberg Early Childhood Center and Primary School, visit www.whecc-ps.com.

For more about the Maryland Science Center's Traveling Science Program, visit www.mdsci.org and click "For Educators."