HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 2, 2021 – Dressed in Halloween costumes, High Point University students, faculty and local children explored science together on Oct. 30 at the High Point Public Library, where HPU’s Department of Physics co-hosted the annual HPUniverse Day.
Families and community members of all ages were invited to the seventh annual Halloween-themed event. HPUniverse Day: Spooky Science Edition featured 15 different learning stations for kids to explore science, space and more.
“I learned that science is cool,” said De-Onni McCormick, an elementary student from High Point. “My favorite part of the event was going inside the trash bag and getting squeezed,” she said about an experiment using a vacuum to push and pull air pressure out of a bag.
The different stations included astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics and new stations for liquid nitrogen demonstrations and “puking” pumpkins.
“I really love working HPUniverse Day because it is a lot of fun working with everyone and seeing all the smiling kids,” said Scott Colton, a senior physics major from Cincinnati, Ohio. “It is also very fulfilling to share my passion with a group of kids that might not have been introduced to physics otherwise. It’s always a good time and the kids love it.”
Nearly 400 children and their families participated in this year’s event. Volunteers included 65 HPU undergraduate students and faculty, and a few HPU alumni returned to help too.
“Although the main purpose of the event was to spark a newfound love of science in local school children, I think the event also helped our own undergraduates gain confidence in their abilities to communicate science to others,” said Dr. Brad Barlow, associate professor of astrophysics.
This is the first year the High Point Public Library co-hosted the event. Jim Zola, the children’s services manager for the library, says that this event is a way to help kids learn more about science in a fun way.
“It was such a fabulous family event,” said Zola. “All the HPU student volunteers interacted with the children to create wonder and excitement about science. My favorite part of the evening was watching the reactions of the children attending the event.”