Camarillo, CA — Children in pre-K through 8th grade can don white scientist coats and get behind the scenes at the CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) annual Science Carnival set for Saturday, Nov. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rio Vista Middle School, 3050 Thames River Drive in Oxnard.
Organized by CSUCI Professor of Chemistry and self-professed mad scientist Phil Hampton, Ph.D., the carnival is a noisy, colorful hands-on experience with 120+ different displays that glow, ooze, scream, explode (safely) or just plain fascinate pre-K through 8th grade guests and their families.
“Kids and families come to the Science Carnival and enjoy themselves, but what’s just as important is what kids do after they get home. We hope to interest kids in some form of science, technology, engineering and math that makes them want to continue exploring this at home,” said Hampton. “It’s a way to help families see ways to continue to enrich their kids’ STEM learning outside of the classroom.”
The Science Carnival will include new exhibits, as well as crowd-pleasers such as the screaming Gummi Bears; self-carving pumpkins; Flubber, Oobleck (the goop in the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck), air-powered marshmallow shooters and glow in the dark slime that kids can create themselves. For the first time, the Science Carnival will also feature several Día de los Muertos activities.
Parents who would like to give their kids an even richer experience are invited to participate in the “Young Engineers and Scientists” (YES) program, which includes a lab coat the child can keep, photos with CSUCI’s dolphin mascot, Ekho, and up to four hours of one-on-one, hands-on time helping CSUCI student volunteers behind the booths. There’s a surprise giveaway treat at the end, too.
Those interested in the YES program can visit: www.csuci.edu/sciencecarnival and purchase a “pHUN PaSS” or purchase your pass at the event entrance. pHUN PaSS pricing is $25 for the first child and $15 each for additional children. For each package purchased at the $25 rate, a YES package will be provided to a low income student from Rio School District. Donations are also appreciated.
“We want all children to benefit from the joys of hands-on science,” Hampton said. “It’s so easy to turn a kid off to science and STEM education. But if you can get them interested in something that gets them excited, you can show them science doesn’t just happen in a classroom. You help them make slime and talk about something called a polymer. You can talk about solids, liquids and gases.”
Hampton said the goal is to create a self-sustaining Science Carnival program that will enable the program to continue into the future. Parking and the event are free.