Science Carnival Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What exactly is the Science Carnival?

Each year since 2008 under the direction of the event founder and director, Dr. Phil Hampton, the California State University Channel Islands has coordinated over 300 volunteers to provide over 80 hands-on science activities and demonstrations to kids in grades PK-8 and their families. The objective of this free event is to inspire a love of science in kids and in our community. Most of the activities are run by science professionals from our community or students studying a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at CSU Channel Islands or a regional community college. It is a magical night you will share with your students or kids that will inspire awe and wonder about the curious fascinations that explains the world around us.

Is there a fee to attend the Science Carnival?

The Science Carnival is a free community event sponsored by California State University Channel Islands and community partners.

Where will the 8th Annual Science Carnival be held?

The 8th Science Carnival will be held at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, located at 2900 Thurgood Marshall Drive Oxnard, CA.

When will the Science Carnival be held?

The Science Carnival is held on the first Saturday in November yearly. This year the event will be held on Saturday, November 5 from 5 pm to 8 pm. The event has many activities so you will want to arrive early to be able to take in all of the interesting experiments and activities.

What is the STEM Experiences for Educators and Leaders (SEEL)?

The STEM Experiences for Educators and Leaders is a new component of the Science Carnival that is being run in conjunction with the Ventura County STEM Network (VC STEM). Up to 100 educators from early childhood/ pre-K/K, elementary, and middle schools as well as para-professionals and site coordinators from after school programs are invited to sign up for the SEEL event. The individuals who sign up will be invited to be VIP visitors of the Science Carnival between 4 - 5 pm on Saturday, November 5. QR codes will be displayed for activities and volunteers will be on-site to guide participants through how they might use the science activity in their classroom/ educational setting. The QR codes will link to the Science Carnival activities website.

Where do I park?

Free parking is available at Oxnard High School, located at 3400 W. Gonzales Street, Oxnard CA across from Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. Parking is also allowed along Patterson adjacent to the school. Free parking has been made available by these partners. School buses will be able to pull up directly to the school to unload students and family members. Courtesy shuttles are available from the two parking areas.

How much is the parking fee?

Parking for the Science Carnival is free, including bus parking.   The shuttle from the parking areas to the Science Carnival is also free.

Will food be available at the Science Carnival?

Food will be sold at the Science Carnival. Families may bring their own food as well. However, alcohol and glass bottles will not be permitted.   There will be a designated eating area with table and chairs. We ask that our guests not eat in the science area. Drinking fountains, restrooms and accessible facilities will be available.

What can I expect as a parent?

Your child will have the opportunity to see and engage in over 80 different science activities and demonstrations. Some of the favorite activities include marshmallow shooters, the self-carving pumpkin, liquid nitrogen frozen candy and ice cream dip-N-dots, the Dark Knight bat sonar experience, and hands-on inflating pig's lungs.  All activities are run by volunteers, including community science professionals, college science students, faculty members, or science enthusiasts.

What support services are provided to multicultural groups?

Families with Spanish-speaking only guests will have the opportunity to tour the Carnival with a Spanish-speaking docent who will happily provide information about each activity in Spanish and translate what the activity leader is explaining to the audience.

Can I bring my students for a field trip?

Absolutely! Please contact our coordinator to work out the details of unloading students and securing parking for the bus. A teacher or chaperone to student ratio of 1:10 is highly encouraged.

What should I bring?

We recommend dressing in layers and bringing water and food or plan to purchase food at the event. Once your kid sees all of the cool activities, they are rarely ready to leave as early as planned. Kids will be collecting hands-on science throughout the evening (e.g., slime, a motor, perfume, lip balm, or glow powder drawing that they made) so you might consider bringing a "trick-or-treat" bag. You might also bring your own dinner and picnic at the site. And, don't forget to bring your curiosity!  You may also want to bring a small flashlight. 

Can my child wear their costume to the Science Carnival?

Yes, definitely!