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CI Holds Fifth Annual Science Carnival

CSU Channel Islands (CI) student Yelena Lacey demonstrates the effect of liquid nitrogen on a balloon at the annual CI Science Carnival

CSU Channel Islands (CI) invited students from kindergarten through eighth grade and their families to a fun-filled, free evening of hands-on science experiments in a Halloween carnival-like atmosphere.

The 2013 Science Carnival was held Saturday, Nov. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, located at 2900 Thurgood Marshall Drive in Oxnard.

Children observed and participated in more than 70 activities – including launching marshmallows, concocting glow-in-the-dark goo, freezing candy bars in liquid nitrogen, digging for fossils, blowing up pumpkins and making their own lotion – all while learning about the science behind them.

This was the fifth annual event organized by Professor of Chemistry Phil Hampton as part of a broader CI effort to expose more students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers.  Last year’s Science Carnival drew more than 1,500 participants.

“By introducing them to the thrills of scientific experimentation in a fun atmosphere, we hope to inspire future generations of scientists and innovators,” Hampton said.  “Kids will even be able to take some of their ‘creations’ home.”

The event has a signature Halloween theme, offering children the chance to wear their Halloween costumes and enjoy a variety of “spooky” refreshments and activities.

The Science Carnival was funded with the help of CI’s Project ACCESO, a Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution grant that promotes STEM learning.

CI students, faculty, staff, the Free Radicals chemistry club, and dozens of members of the local business, education and scientific communities are volunteering their time to lead experiments and help with the event.

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