Science Carnival Returns to MSMS

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

John Robert Walker, Staff Writer

On Oct. 19, more than 800 local second and third graders packed into Pohl Gymnasium for MSMS’s first Science Carnival since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The event, hosted by MSMS faculty and the student body, is one of MSMS’s many outreach programs hosted throughout the year, promoting hands-on learning and sparking an interest in STEM for young students with a fun twist on various scientific concepts.

The Science 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. Despite the two-year period since the last Science Carnival, the event’s impact did not skip a beat.

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

“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.”

Although the returning event had a similar impact on the elementary schoolers in attendance, the turnover of teachers and organizers who were experienced in planning the event made the return difficult.

Nisa King, MSMS academic administrative assistant and first-year Science Carnival organizer, and Morgan said it was difficult to plan and organize the event with few experienced teachers and the large gap since the last Science Carnival.

“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 the Science Carnival’s main focus is the young students, MSMS students get just as much out of it.

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’s sentiment and said that as guides and presenters, MSMS students get to share their love for science.

“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.

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

Mason said his home school did not have many STEM extracurriculars or experiential learning experiences.

“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.”

The Science Carnival’s return to MSMS was exciting for all involved and is an MSMS tradition not going away anytime soon.

“I am just happy I was able to come back this year and bring back the old tradition,” Mason said.