Science Carnival Returns to MSMS

Juniors Justin Doan and Max Feng demonstrate camouflage to elementary school students.

John Robert Walker, Staff Writer

More than 800 local second and third graders packed into Pohl Gymnasium on Oct. 19 for the first MSMS Science Carnival since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The event, hosted by faculty and the student body, is one of many outreach programs hosted throughout the year. It promotes hands-on learning and sparks an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for young students by providing a fun twist on various scientific concepts.

The carnival is a longstanding MSMS tradition dating back more than 20 years. However, due to past COVID-19 restrictions, the event has not taken place since 2019.

Elizabeth Morgan, one of three current MSMS teachers who participated in previous Science Carnivals, said all attendees were pleased with this year’s event.

“The kids seemed to respond well to the sorts of demonstrations we had,” Morgan said. “All the kids seem to have a really good time, and all the teachers I spoke with were very appreciative of what their students got to see and do.”

Nisa King, MSMS academic administrative assistant and first-year Science Carnival organizer, and Morgan said it was difficult to plan and organize the event since few teachers experienced with it remain on staff due to turnover since 2019.

“This has been a new experience for everyone, especially me,” King said. “There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, but it’s worth it for the kids.”

“Even for some of us who have been around for years, we have not done it in a long time,” Morgan added. “Things you might remember from year to year kind of get lost along the way when you don’t do it for several years.”

While carnival’s main focus was the young students, MSMS students got just as much out of it. Senior CJ Mason, a Science Carnival guide, said the event was rewarding.

“My favorite part of being a guide was being able to work with the kids and see their faces light up at the [experiments],” Mason said.

Morgan agreed with Mason and said that as guides and presenters, MSMS students shared their love for science with others.

“It’s really good for our students to be able to interact with younger students, get them excited [about science] and show off what they know,” Morgan said.

Mason and other MSMS students from rural towns with fewer hands-on learning opportunities expressed gratitude to the school for providing them and other young students with these opportunities.

“Back where I went to school, we never really had anything like this. We never had a place to go out and explore these concepts,” Mason said. “[The Science Carnival] would have helped me learn these different concepts that would be explored later in middle and high school. I am just happy I was able to bring back the old tradition.”