Exploding Pumpkins, Slime Making, Dissections Featured at Halloween Science Night

by News Bureau on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 11, 2012 — Children ages 5-12 are invited to learn that science is “a blast” at the free Halloween Science Night Oct. 27 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Children will be transformed into scientists and will have the opportunity to see exploding pumpkins, star gaze, watch things that glow, learn about owls and carnivorous plants and participate in gooey, gross and awesome activities at the event planned from 4-7 p.m. More information is available at http://www.semo.edu/continuinged/hsn.htm.

Registration will be held in Robert A. Dempster Hall with activities throughout the night in Dempster, Magill and Rhodes halls.

“This program was the brain-child of Dr. Marcus Bond and Dr. Rachael Morgan-Theall in our chemistry department. The point of the night is to bring kids to campus to visit the science labs so they can see how cool science really is,” said Christy Mershon, assistant director of Extended and Continuing Education.

The evening’s events are being organized by Shannon McNew, instructor of anatomy, physiology and medical microbiology; Dr. Jim McGill, associate professor of chemistry; and Mershon.

Upon admission, each child will be dressed with a pair of child-sized safety glasses, a chemistry lab apron and a bag to collect candy and science goodies. Labs and classrooms will be open throughout the evening for students to explore. Outside, children can also build and launch rockets. Each will receive a card to be stamped in each room. At the end of the evening, the cards will go into a drawing for prizes, Mershon said.

Chemistry labs will offer a glow-in-the-dark crime scene investigation, the opportunity to make slime and demonstrations galore, each with an interactive twist.

An anatomy lab will have dissections on display, a light box with broken bone x-rays and a “walking on bones” activity. Children will receive an anatomy and physiology coloring book with information about professions to take home.

Information on carnivorous plants and stations offering plant facts will be available in the plant lab. Here, children also will be able to look into a dissecting scope and see plants up close. Children also will get to take home a Venus’ flytrap to care for, Mershon said.

Organizers also plan to have Jello molds of a brain, heart, severed hands and skeleton.

“We even have someone bringing a live coyote,” Mershon said.

Parents or a legal guardian must attend Halloween Science Night with their children, as this is not a “drop off” event. Mershon says parents will be able to take photos of their “little scientist” at a “photo op” station.

Mershon said the evening’s events are funded by a Missouri Foundation for Health grant. This free program is sponsored by the Office of Extended and Continuing Education at Southeast Missouri State University and the Missouri Foundation for Health. The program is presented by Southeast’s departments of chemistry and biology.

Kids can also enter a coloring contest for a chance to win great Halloween prizes. Information about the coloring contest is on the Halloween Science Night website, www.semo.edu/continuinged/hsn.htm. The contest can be completed by printing the coloring sheet online or through the Southeast Missourian Junior newspaper.

Pre-registration for the event is encouraged by visiting http://www.semo.edu/continuinged/hsn.htm or by calling (573) 986-7399. The pre-registration deadline is Oct. 19.