LAKE JACKSON — Small packets of liquid coffee creamer became frosty, frozen ice cream right in front of bewildered children’s eyes at the Lake Jackson Historical Museum’s Science Fest.
Children and families were treated to about a dozen organizations Saturday offering educational presentations on topics like electricity and featured activities such as cup stacking and creating animal tracks in a box of sand. Children were also treated to a build room, where they could create items using objects including chopsticks, tape and pipe cleaners.
The public might not initially think of a museum being the place to host a science festival, but given that the history of Lake Jackson was built on scientific invention through architecture and science, it makes perfect sense, Programs Director Jodi Larson said.
“We would not have been founded if not for the scientific endeavors of Dow Chemical,” she said. “We had engineers. We had planners. We literally have our existence and our townspeople to thank.”
Science appeals to everyone, which is perhaps why this is one of the museum’s most popular events each year, Larson said.
“People will say Science Fest is for kids,” she said. “You will think that until you see that middle-aged man holding his kid in the air. It is really for everybody, because science is all around us. It’s celebrating the science that is literally a part of our everyday life.”
There are other things for children and teenagers to do besides being on their smartphones or playing video games, Texas Master Naturalist member Barbara Burkhardt said.
“We want them to get outside and learn about what is going on outside,” she said. “We teach them about alligators. We teach them about coastal prairies and what a coastal prairie is. All types of things like that. It’s environmental education.”
Club Z!, an in-home tutoring service, also joined in on the fun by allowing children to create ice cream.
It might just be a simple task of creating a frozen dessert, but it teaches children how physical changes can take place, Club Z! Area Director Brad Weber said.
“It is a simple physics experiment,” he said. “These kids just get the biggest kick out of doing these goofy, little things I come up with. Last year we did balloon-powered cars.”
The competitions throughout the day, like cup stacking or a spaghetti marshmallow challenge, fuel children’s minds and cause them to think more critically, Larson said.
“There is a lot going on, a lot of layers and a lot of ways to engage in science because there is a lot of different kinds of science in this town,” she said.