CSUCI Science Carnival trots out spooky science for its Halloween in March theme
Halloween is coming—in March!

There will be plenty of “spooky science” at the 11th Annual CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Science Carnival set for Saturday, March 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rio Vista Middle School at 3050 Thames River Drive in Oxnard.

The Science Carnival was originally scheduled for Nov. 2, 2019, but the fires of late October required that it get rescheduled for March of 2020.

Science Carnival organizer and founder Phil Hampton, Ph.D. wanted to recreate everything the kids would have experienced — including Halloween.

“Science Carnival is usually a spooky science kind of event normally held around Halloween,” Hampton said. “There were so many people who came on the night of the Science Carnival in November of 2019 and kids who were disappointed to learn it had been cancelled, so we’re reinventing this well-loved event as Halloween in March.”

Kids can come in costume and there will be plenty of creepy, gooey, deliciously gross exhibits to pique kids’ interest in science such as screaming Gummi bears; do-it-yourself glow-in-the-dark slime; and Moorpark College Chemistry will be running an activity where kids learn how a substance derived from algae can be used to make slimy worms.

Also on display will be the always-popular air-powered marshmallow shooters, Flubber and Oobleck (the goop in the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”).

The 120 exhibits are designed to delight and intrigue pre-K through 8th grade guests and their families, but at the heart of the carnival is the hope that kids develop an interest in some form of science, technology, engineering and math that makes them want to continue exploring the field.

“My goal is to let kids experience the wonder and love of science in a fun environment where both the kids and parents can see the mystery, awe and wonder in science and be inspired,” Hampton said. “Hopefully they consider science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) as a potential future for their kids.”

The exhibits are staffed by CSUCI volunteers as well as volunteers from other partner groups such as all three community colleges; the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Paula and Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme; all three commands from Naval Base Ventura County; Sunny Smiles Dentistry (with a toothbrush robot!); Pacifica High School Physics and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers who will show kids how to create their own simple motor.

Families from Santa Barbara are also encouraged to attend. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration & Innovation in Santa Barbara, will also set up displays.

The event is free and open to the public and usually draws almost 3,000 kids and parents. Limited snacks will be provided for purchase and families are encouraged to bring a picnic or arrange to eat off-site.