Ecolab’s Contribution Makes Annual Science Carnival a Huge Success
For well over twenty years, MSMS has hosted an annual Science Carnival at Pohl Gymnasium for local second and third grade students across Lowndes, Oktibbeha, and Clay counties to encourage an early interest in science education. This year also included Pickens County. MSMS has been able to host the carnival annually because of the continued support from the Ecolab Foundation. “Youth and education are among the Ecolab Foundation’s top priorities and we are proud to partner with the premiere high school in the state of Mississippi to help promote excellence in STEM education,” said Jimmy Parker, a mechanical engineer working in Research and Development at Ecolab Healthcare’s Columbus facility.
This year, over 800 elementary school students participated in the interactive, science-oriented carnival. Current juniors and seniors at MSMS performed a host of different scientific demonstrations to the delight of the elementary school students watching. While the specific exhibits change slightly from year to year, the focus remains on key scientific principles such as inertia, electricity, the metrics system, properties of water, and color and light manipulation. “While giving the best and brightest students from all over the state a one of a kind educational experience MSMS also enhances the community by bringing these great students and teachers to the city of Columbus,” added Parker.
In addition to exciting exhibits and hands-on workshops for students, teachers received a guidebook that details inexpensive ways to incorporate science-based learning into their classroom instruction. The guidebook contains experiment ideas, sample lesson plans, and science instruction best practices.
Parker continued, “We see the service provided by MSMS to be very important to the state of Mississippi’s future. MSMS allows students a unique opportunity for advanced academic rigor and provides the state of Mississippi a showcase of educational achievement that anyone in the nation would be proud of.”
Every current MSMS student played an important role in the carnival. Some students served as presenters for specific exhibits, while others serve as guides and greeters. Still others volunteer to assist with event setup and teardown. Not only is the Science Carnival a great way for MSMS students to share their love of science with local students, it is also an invaluable lesson for them on the importance of community activism.
In 2017 Ecolab contributed more than $15 million to local communities including $1 million focused specifically on STEM education.