In the basement of the Newton Public Library Tristian Mitchell was quietly picking through some gross stuff, calmly announcing when his tweezers found a small bone.
He was dissecting an owl pellet. He was doing something most would not.
"Because they consider it gross," Mitchell said.
Before he started in on that project, he dissected a cow eye.
"We learned about optical illusions and how your eye intercepts it and your brain, and how things are not always intact and coordinated," Mitchell said.
Mitchell, along with several others, were being led through a workshop by Harvard and MIT students.
Students from Harvard and MIT are bicycling across America from the east coast, going west, while Stanford students are biking from the west coast, going east. The Harvard and MIT group spent Monday and Tuesday at the Newton Public Library, leading workshops for students ages 10 through 18.
The program called is “Spokes: Biking Across America,” and is designed for college students to share their love of STEM education.
This week Harvard and MIT students were leading four different workshops during two days at the library: "Games and More Games: Math and Strategy," "How Computers Work: Building Circuits," "Make a Real Plate Speaker," and "Biology: Cow Eye Dissection."
Students were allowed to keep a lense from the cow eye, which works much like a magnifying glass when used correctly. Other stops in Kansas for the tour include Ottawa, Emporia, Great Bend, Wakeeney and Colby.
This is the third year the rolling learning festival has stopped in Newton — though this is the first year Stanford students will make a stop. They are due for a day at the library July 31.
The workshops offered by Stanford bicyclists for July 31 will include:"How to Design a Brain," "Logic & Cockroaches," "Creative Writing: The Day of Our Lives," and "Math and Games."
Students can register for the July 31 stop by calling 316-283-2890 or by going to the Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak.