MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Stations with chemical experiments and science projects filled the room as children gazed in wonder. Their eyes lit up as they participated in the process of completing circuits, watched chemical reactions occur, and looked at stations display the laws of physics.
Marine Corps Community Services hosted the Science Night Jan. 23, 2014, at the Lifelong Learning Library aboard the Combat Center.
“This program started about three and a half years ago and we began coordinating with the local school systems to plan the science night around the same time as when schools assign science projects,” said Ursula Morales, Library technician and program coordinator. “A lot of kids really love science or really hate it, so the science night is a win-win because these projects are fun and friendly so anyone can enjoy.”
Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School students volunteered to be demonstrators for each science project the event showcased.
“The MCCES students were awesome,” Morales said. “I got 20 volunteers and they hooked it up. The volunteers worked great with the kids and played a key role in the success of the science night.”
The volunteers enjoyed the experience of interacting with children and playing a role in making science fun.
“I think the kids gain knowledge, have fun and get to do experiments that they can enjoy and do at home as well,” said Pfc. Hailey Hall, student, MCCES. “I just like to do events like this. You get to interact with kids and you can take a step back from being a Marine and teach. It’s a great experience volunteering for this event.”
The event not only entertains children, but also assists parents with projects that their kids may be assigned at school.
“As any parent would tell you, when a child gets assigned a project, the parent gets one too,” Morales said. “That’s why this event is so valuable to these parents because they come to us seeking guidance. During the event, we provide them with demonstrations and step-by-step guidelines to replicate the same experiments we present.”
Finding clever ways for kids to learn is a tool many use to make sure the subject matter being taught is fully understood and learned.
“As an educator, making sure the kids have fun is great but knowing that they are learning at the same time means so much to me, whether they know it or not,” Morales said.