For Cook, teaching’s a science

Published 9:01 am Thursday, February 8, 2018

While heavy snowfall and ice closed schools and kept students at home, students at Cumberland County Middle School were still able to tune into some science experiments, courtesy of seventh grade Life Science Teacher Victoria Cook.

Cook, a Longwood University graduate who began teaching in Cumberland Jan. 9, showed students how adding salt to ice water allowed her to catch ice cubes with a string on social media, explaining in a later video that the salt lowered the freezing temperature of the ice just enough for the ice cubes to thaw, then refreeze onto the string.

“I felt the need to keep up the science interest in my students,” Cook said about the videos, which were featured on the Cumberland County Public Schools Facebook page.

Email newsletter signup

Another experiment had included pouring baking soda and vinegar on a snowman to make it bubble.

Cook, who recently graduated from Longwood with a bachelor’s of science in liberal studies with a concentration in education of middle school natural science, said she has enjoyed getting to meet her students and share a love of science.

“They are really great kids,” Cook said.

In the classroom, Cook has worked with students in constructing paper roller coasters among other projects.

Though Cook commutes from outside the county, she has enjoyed seeing Farmville and Cumberland as more like home.

“I really like quaint, small places,” Cook said. “In Farmville, I like the downtownish area to walk by the shops. In Cumberland, I haven’t really gotten to explore, but I’ve wanted to try some of the restaurants I see on my way.”

For science teachers who are looking into new experiments or lesson ideas, Cook said she would recommend Kesler Science, a website that has online lesson plans and interactive material.

Cook said outside of the classroom she’s enjoyed reading, visiting friends and acting in plays.