Campus was swarming with children last weekend as they learned about science, from water bugs swimming in small tanks to germinating seeds they could bring home to plant.
After months of planning, the MSU Science Festival came together this weekend and will continue this week.
The first MSU Science Festival began last Friday and goes through next Sunday and includes more than 150 science-related activities, lectures and tours that are free and open to the public.
During the week, students are welcome to visit various presentations, seminars, discussion panels and tours going on across campus. Some events include a discussion on the scientific evidence for the role of nutrition in promoting performance health and a behind-the-scenes tour of the MSU Museum’s vertebrate collections.
Last weekend, students and community members went to the Lansing State Journal Expo Tent for hands-on activities, including designing their own fish and viewing a display of the motions of various joints and organs in the human body.
At about 1 p.m. Saturday, volunteer Taylor Deleeuw, a human resource management freshman, counted more than 630 people who came in the tent.
Anyone who missed the activities last weekend can go to the tent this weekend on campus, with the addition of some new activities, including a shark dissection Saturday in the MSU Museum auditorium.
Alumna Erica Velasquez brought her 9-year-old son Xavier to the tent Saturday and plans to bring him back for the shark dissection.
“I liked science as a kid, so it’s important that my son gets involved in it, too,” Velasquez said. “I hope he likes it just as much as I did.”
MSU Science Festival coordinator Renee Leone came up with the idea after attending a different science festival.
“We have such a curious community here in Michigan,” Leone said. “We felt that it would be a wonderful match.”
Richard Kobe, professor of forest ecology and chairperson of the Department of Forestry, talked to visitors Saturday about MSU research done on wet tropical forests in Costa Rica. Kobe said MSU has a plot of land about the size of a football field for research with s more tree species than there are in the entire state of Michigan.
“I think it’s really important to connect with the community and (let) a lot of people know what type of research is going on at MSU,” Kobe said.
Graduate student Jenna Smith said she attended the events on Saturday because she enjoys science festivals, and she is helping with a nuclear physics exhibit this coming weekend.
“I like to see science that I don’t normally see on a day-to-day basis,” Smith said. “It presents science as fun and interactive, which is something you don’t always hear in class.”
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