Ross Ford Elementary School in Didsbury is buzzing with more than just the usual school bell these days, thanks to the school’s new Principal, George Thomson, who is mixing up a special formula for fun and learning, as well as for great relationships. Thomson has been conjuring up some explosive and eye-catching science experiments in school assemblies and Grade 2 science classes.

“Between the laughter and the delighted squeals, it’s been exciting for all of us to be part of,” said Diane Arbuckle, a teacher at Ross Ford. “We’re all having a lot of fun with it.”

Thomson came to Ross Ford after serving as the Principal of Hugh Sutherland School in Carstairs. Arbuckle said Ross Ford staff were excited to meet Thomson, and wondered what it would be like for him to transition to an elementary school.

“He came in keen and enthusiastic, and is getting the students excited about learning, especially with science. The kids think the experiments he does are amazing and it’s one way for him to get to know the students. Students take their excitement home and so the transition for families is going well too,” said Arbuckle.

photo of experiment

“The staff at Ross Ford are great,” said George Thomson. “When I arrived at the school I was impressed with all the amazing learning opportunities staff provide for students. I am also enjoying the students and the Didsbury community. This is a really great place to be. When I considered how I might contribute to the strong Ross Ford culture, I thought of doing science experiments.”

Thomson is not only a certified educator but also has a background in science. “My first degree is in science,” said Thomson. “I am passionate about science and love helping students discover the power of the scientific method. Doing experiments gives students a hands on, real world experience.”

Thomson performed a science demonstration at the school’s first assembly in September and had such a great response, he has performed more, including the appearance of a ghostly vapour at the school’s Halloween assembly, made possible by pouring boiling water on dry ice that Thomson made a special trip to Calgary to get the night before. The staff have embraced Thomson as the ‘mad scientist’ of Ross Ford, and all dressed as mad scientists at Halloween in support.

**with information and photos provided by Chinook's Edge School Division