Ithaca Physics Bus visits Tioga Central School thanks to grant written by student

TIOGA CENTER (WBNG) — A silver school bus that looks a little like a rocket ship isn’t there take your kids to school in the morning.

Instead, this one is transporting them to a hands-on world of science!

"They are having so much fun. It’s third through sixth graders, so there’s middle schoolers who approach it and they’re like ‘uh, is this something I really want to do?’ but then by the end they’re like ‘I don’t want to leave, do we really have to go?’" said Tioga Central School senior Dina Silvestri.

The Ithaca Physics Bus travels to events and schools across the northeast, even as far as New Orleans, but getting it to the Southern Tier wasn’t so easy.

The Physics Bus team charges each event a set fee to offset its costs and for Tioga Central, that’s easier said than done.

And that’s when high school senior Dina Silvestri stepped in.

"I said ‘we’re a Title One school, we receive so many free and reduced price lunches,’" said Silvestri. ‘"This is what we have and this is what we can give.’"

She wrote a grant for the bus’ visit, and won.

"I was like, ‘look we have so many kids who don’t get to do enough with science and we have so many teachers who do everything they can and administrators who do everything they can, but we we don’t have the connect we need,’" said Silvestri.

So the bus came to the school for free.

To thank the team for its generosity, teachers got together to donate $160 to the Physics Bus team and provide them lunch.

Working together to grow students’ love of science.

"How does that work, why does this happen, what will happen if I do this, so it just gets people interested and curious and also having fun." said Physics Bus driver Nathan Lewis. "This is right in our backyard, so we’re really happy to come down to places like this."

Dina says her parents, who are teachers,told her about the Physics Bus and how fun it was, so she wanted to bring it in to give back to the school during her senior year.

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