Children learn from fun games at Science Under the Big Top

May 19, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Children learned through play during the carnival-themed ScienceSouth Science Under the Big Top event Saturday morning.

The Science Under the Big Top event wrapped up the Science Saturday series for ScienceSouth’s spring events. Science Under the Big Top has been an annual event for five years.

During the event, children took part in games that reinforced science ideas, such as probability and physics.

“We try to show the relationship between science and math while the kids are also having fun and learning,” said executive director Stephen Welch.

One game, the leapfrog toss, involved a lever that children hit with a rubber mallet to make a stuffed frog fly through the air. Using the time and distance of the frog’s flight, the children calculated the speed in which the frog flew the air. Children could also choose from several other games, including a ball toss to determine the probability of knocking cans over, a ring toss and a mini golf game.

While taking part in the games, children had data booklets in which they could record the results of their games.

“We [ScienceSouth] love to make things fun, but we always weave education and science into our workshops,” said Casey Coker, the pavilion programming coordinator. “So even though it was a bunch of games, our wish is that they see that science can be found where they least expect it.”

Welch said carnival games have a strong correlation to science topics that the children can learn.

“There’s a lot of things related to science that are in the games that increases the probability that you lose,” Welch said.

Hayden Bell said he enjoyed taking part in the ScienceSouth event, and he loved the ball toss game.

ScienceSouth is a nonprofit educational organization that seeks to advance scientific understanding and increase the competitiveness of future generations in all areas of science, according to the ScienceSouth website.

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