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 11th Annual Science Carnival be held?

The 11th Annual Science Carnival will be held at Rio Vista Middle School, located at 3050 Thames River Dr, Oxnard, CA 93036.

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, March 7, 2020, from 4 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.

Where do I park?

Free parking is available at Rio Del Mar Elementary School (adjacent to Rio Vista Middle School), in the public parking lots along E. Vineyard Avenue for the athletic fields at Rio Vista Middle School, and an additional location which will be noted in street signs by the event. A shuttle bus will also take people who park at the off-site parking location to the site of the Science Carnival.

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?

Light snacks will be available for purchase at the Science Carnival. Families may bring their own food as well. 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 90 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 speak with STEM students and professionals who speak Spanish and will be visible with a pin noting that they speak Spanish. They will happily provide information about each activity in Spanish.

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!

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