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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spooktacular Science event makes science so fun it’s spooky

    Kyle Hansen
    Kyle Hansen / The Daily Wildcat The Flandrau Science Center displays Halloween decorations in celebration of Halloween on Wednesday, Oct. 29 on the U of A campus.

    Calling all mad scientists: The Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium is hosting Spooktacular Science, a Halloween-themed event with activities ranging from a collection of brains to homemade slime.

    Staff at Flandrau will be teaming up with science clubs across campus to host the family-friendly science event for the sixth year.

    Though the event is family oriented, all ages can enjoy the demonstrations, which combine science with Halloween spookiness.

    One of the clubs participating is the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Association of Students. Kendra Liu, a senior studying neuroscience and cognitive science and molecular and cellular biology, is the event coordinator of the club and one of the volunteers for Spooktacular Science.

    “We get a lot of excitement about neuroscience,” Liu said. “We expose [people] to basic neuroscience; in this case, [it’s] canned brains.”

    Farid Ghamsari, a sophomore studying neuroscience and cognitive science and a Spooktacular Science volunteer, recommended the jelly bean experiment, where kids try eating different jelly beans with their noses plugged. The experiment shows how important smell is when tasting food.

    “[We want to] get kids more excited about science and rectify some common misconceptions of neuroscience,” Liu said.

    Other science clubs on campus will also be at the event, including the Chemistry Club, the Pre-Dental Club and more.

    “There’s a lot of science that seems supernatural,” said Shipherd Reed, operations and communications manager at Flandrau. “The Chemistry Club usually tries to do some cool things involving flames and sparkles.”

    The event benefits not just its visitors, but its volunteers as well.

    “For college students, it’s a great way to get practice with outreach and work with kids,” said Shiloe Fontes, the graphic designer for Flandrau and one of the coordinators of the event. “This weekend, Girl Scouts came and visited and got their hands dirty making slime and dissecting eyeballs.” 

    Flandrau also has demonstrations such as dissecting cow eyes and a slime demonstration. The slime is meant to show the reaction of polymers using glue, borax, water and food coloring.“It’s definitely a lot of fun,”  Fontes said. “You’re never too old to play with slime.”

    Reed and Fontes also both recommended the Halloween laser show, which features classic Halloween songs such as “The Monster Mash” and “Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet Near Mars.” “The science is still great, so the kids learn science, plus they get the Halloween fun,” Reed said. “I think that’s pretty satisfying for the parents, too.”

    In addition to the Halloween activities, all of the other exhibits Flandrau has will be available. This includes the UA Mineral Museum, the Exploring Sky Island exhibit and the Marine Discovery Lab. The new Flandrau FullDome will also be open for planetarium shows.

    Admission, normally $5 for students, is half off to those wearing a costume and includes the “Fright Lite” Halloween laser and music show.

    The event will continue today and Friday, so there’s still time for students and families to come out and get, as Reed said, “A little science for your spooky.”


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