A day of learning

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ABOVE: Youngsters in fourth- and fifth-grade science class got to do a hands-on experiment to learn about stomach acid and digestion Wednesday afternoon at the Marshalltown Christian School. Instructor Lindsey Lawrence had her pupils dissolve whole and partial breath mints in jars filled with either just vinegar or just water, then shake them to see how long it would take to fully dissolve the mints, based on these different factors. “This is better than having them sit and read out of a book,” Lawrence said. “Plus it made the classroom smell good.” Aashlyn Rettig, 10, center, spent a little under four minutes shaking her first jar before the mint fully dissolved. BELOW: Several Lenihan Intermediate School Extended Learning Program (XLP) students were hard at work writing and creating Wednesday afternoon. Sixth-grade student Layla Buschbom, left, was busy building a robot to knock down stacked cups 9 feet away. Fellow sixth-grader Roan Jelken, center, was typing up his entry the nationwide Letters About Literature competition, which over a dozen Lenihan students are participating in this year. Additionally, fifth-grader Varshitha Gobichettipalayam Balachandran and sixth-grader Braden Stewart put together a conservation project on river otters. Lenihan XLP instructor Vanessa Engel said the students were working on the projects during her “resource room” period