The Turlock community enjoyed a taste of California State University, Stanislaus’ brand of science on Saturday. From zombies to light waves and greenhouses to planetariums, the Third Annual Science Day was packed full of math and sciences fun.
“I see a lot of happy kids, and a lot of excited people,” said Mark Grobner, Chair of the Biological Sciences Department. “We’ve got a lot more activities this year than we had last year. A lot more hands-on stuff than we had last year.”
Many visitors were excited at the sheer number of activities available to peruse – as well as the fact that they were more involved. Mice Nitschke was one of the mothers who appreciated how hands-on the exhibits were.
“We saw the bone room and we saw the planetarium,” said Nitschke. The planetarium was her son Henry Nitschke’s favorite room. “We did the Light Waves room – we did a ton of different things because there was so much to see.”
Nitschke and her family were present for the Second Annual Science Day, and enjoyed it so much that a return visit was in order.
Not all the parents were veterans, however: Brian Austin, along with sons Nathan and Eric Austin, were all new attendees. And regardless of the age difference, every member of the family found something to love.
“Our youngest son, Eric, really liked the bugs,” said Brian Austin. “All the beetles and that kinda thing. The glowing microbes [were my favorite]. They gave a really good discussion about using phosphorescence to track bacteria in ways, like finding a cure for Tuberculosis.”
Nathan Austin couldn’t help but agree, and added in his own personal favorite room.
“The reptiles exhibit,” said Nathan Austin. “They just had everything. I mean, amphibians, snakes, lizards, turtles, everything. I liked the phosphorescent microbes one, too – they explained it really well.”
There was a considerable amount of positive feedback about the learning experience.
“This is just a lot of fun,” said Brian Austin. “All of this is – there’s a lot more here than we figured there would be.”
CSU Stanislaus Service Learning Director Julie Fox was quick to state that all the students and faculty present were volunteering their time. Fox said that there were close to 200 students who volunteered, along with ten different student organizations: the American Chemistry Society, Biology Student Association, Blue Green Hand Society, Geology Club, Math Club/SIAM, Paleo Club, Pre-Health Society, SNA Volunteers, and the Society of Physics Students.
“We’re really here to demonstrate science to the people who come around,” said Professor of Physics Dr. Ian Littlewood, who went on to describe his experience teaching in the Planetarium room. “We had a lot of people coming through. And they didn’t just walk in, then leave – they stayed and they listened to it.”
The passion and dedication was contagious. The Third Annual Science Day filled the parking lots and put smiles on countless faces in the community.
“It was fun,” said Nitschke, “and it’s a great experience for the kids. All the staff and the students did a really nice job.”