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Students get doses of reality, mad science

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WILMINGTON -- Some Wilmington eighth graders got a dose of reality Friday. The Reality Store opened Friday morning at Williston Middle School. The store is part of a lesson plan that teaches students how to manage their money and responsibilities. After being assigned a career and a salary, students were left on their own to figure out how to best use their resources. Williston eighth-grader Lindsay Johnson said, "I went and bought a house, a small house, four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and then I went and bought a used car because it was cheaper. And then I only bought a bedroom set for me and a bunk-bed set for my two kids and a refrigerator." In addition to furnishing their new homes, the students had to make grown-up decisions like whether to take out a loan, and how much they had to spend on health insurance. A couple of miles away at Eaton Elementary School mad scientists took over. The Mad Science of Coastal Carolina program put on an interactive science demonstration for the kids. The presentation encouraged the kids to get hands on while learning about gravity, air pressure, density and other subjects. The organization's president says they pride themselves on not lecturing, but making sure the kids have fun while learning at the same time. Friday's demonstration encouraged future scientists. Eaton Elementary second-grader Cole McCarthy said, "I liked when they shot air out of the trash can because I like learning about the air pressure and all that stuff because I want to be a scientist when I grow up." The Mad Science program performs at schools and private functions.

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