Volunteer opportunity: Science Night at Bennett Woods Elementary, 2024

We looking for some people to help with this year’s Science Night at Bennett Woods Elementary in Okemos on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. This is an event we’ve done for several years, and is really fun.

We run the “take apart clinic”, where we set up a table with old junk, like appliances, radios, computers, etc., and let the kids take them apart and turn them into bits. The kids, who are in 4th and 5th grade, love it. We supply the tools and safety glasses, and some of the junk, and keep things from getting too rowdy. The school supplies the majority of the junk, which is often a lot of old computers from MSU Surplus.

I need a couple of helpers who are good with kids, or at least not bad with kids, to set out the tools, keep the kids in safety glasses, and rotate out the old junk with fresh junk over the course of the evening. The hardest part is collecting the safety glasses as kids leave the table.

It’s a nice outreach event for us. In the past we’ve gotten some visits from parents after the event. We’ll have our signage and some brochures for interested parents, but it’s primarily about the kids, of course.

The time commitment is about three hours. We can set up from 5:30pm to 6:30, the event runs from 6:30 to 8:00, and then there’s a half hour of cleanup afterwards.

And of course there is a refreshment trolley that makes the rounds a few times with snacks and drinks for the exhibitors. As if you had to ask.

I’d love to do this again… it was a blast watching the equipment coming apart!

I’ll be there, of course. I’m an old hand at this event. I’ll put together the tools and safety glasses, and bring them to the event.

Another volunteer would be nice. This is one of the more fun events. It’s pretty easy, it’s pretty fun, and you get home in time for Let’s make a Deal Primetime.

We’re always looking for good items to take apart. If you’ve got an old or broken thing you don’t want, bring it in and leave it in the electronics area with a note saying “Take Apart!”.

Good items are things that come apart with screwdrivers only, and something inside to see that’s interesting to an 8- to 11-year-old kid.

Obsolete things are a treat for the kids, because they’ve never seen them before. Semi-mechanical things like tape recorders, radios with dial tuning, and the holy grail: a VCR.

Bad items are things with no visible means of “take apart”, or that have glass. Computer monitors or televisions of any kind are not usable.


Bumping as we are looking for one or two more people to help at this event!

Have we got another interested person? The event is tomorrow (Wednesday) night, at Bennett Woods Elementary School in Okemos, with setup starting at 5:30, and running from 6:30 to 8:00. Our setup doesn’t take all that long, so arriving at 6:00 is fine. Check in with the school staff when you arrive, and they can direct you to our table.

It’s a fun time, and it goes by quickly.

I’ve got the tools and safety glasses all set, and some nice items to supplement the old computers the school will have. I’ll grab the LMN banner or other signage tonight.

I’m in. See you at six

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