By:  Lexi Kiniston

The Sternberg Museum of Natural History, 3000 Sternberg Drive, Eagle Communications and Lifetime Dental are sponsoring the fourth annual Sternberg Spooktacular from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, with help from Fort Hays State University student volunteers.

The free event at Sternberg, will offer 10 different stations for children of all ages to walk through and experience Halloween fun while also learning about science.

The Sternberg Spooktacular was started “to give kids a safe place to trick or treat,” said Thea Haugen, the Discovery Room manager at the Sternberg Museum. In the past, the Spooktacular has drawn more than 300 children, she said. Some of the stations this year include spiders, snakes and mice, and stuffed animals. The children will be interviewed at the end of the tour for broadcast on Eagle Communication TV.

The Spooktacular is “scary, but not super scary,” Haugen said. “It’ll probably take about a half hour to walk through the stations, and then the kids will be interviewed by Eagle Communications.”

FHSU volunteers will lead the tours of five to six children through the museum every 10 minutes and stop at the different stations where there are displays and demonstrations that combine Halloween themes with natural science. Volunteers will also help maintain the stations and interact with the children at each of them. Mouseville is one of the stations this year, and it has a big aquarium full of wheels for the mice in the display.

“We have momma and baby mice, and the kids get so excited looking at them,” Haugen said. This is a community service event, and Haugen said she hopes that the different stations will help “get them [the kids] interested in natural sciences.”

“I would recommend this event to (FHSU) students looking to get involved in volunteering because it’s a great way to give back to the community, especially if you like kids,” said Alexis Mesmer, student coordinator for Tigers in Service.

The Sternberg Museum is still accepting volunteers for the Spooktacular. Anyone interested in getting more information about volunteering can contact the museum directly at 785-628-4286, or Tigers in Service at 785-628-5537.

“You really make an impact on people’s lives and help kids have a safe Halloween,” Mesmer said.

The children’s interviews will be broadcast on Eagle Communications Television Channel 14 and will be aired more than once. Viewers can check the Eagle Communications TV Guide for show times. Eagle Communications will be donating candy and a flashlight to each child at the Spooktacular, and Lifetime Dental will be giving out toothbrushes.

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