Discovery Day


Student Voice Photo/ Bonnie Baruch)

The Chemistry Club and Honors Club worked together to show the children at Discovery Day a cool experiment turning liquids to solids. Student Involvement was a large part of making the event run as smooth as possible.

By Steven Suarez, Staff writer

Discovery Day is basically what it sounds like, a day of
discovery. But what may be surprising is that the ones doing the discovering
are children, and not just a few but hundreds.

More than 340 children and parents were in attendance at this year’s Discovery Day held at the Child Development Center this past Saturday. The event was full of activities and entertainment for the children to explore while their parents followed with smiling faces. There was everything for the children to do from contributing to the large mural painting as they walked in, to sitting and reading classic children’s literature.


For mother of two, Jennifer Holtz, this is the third time she has brought her daughters Jackie, 5, and Danielle, 10, to Discovery Day. Her children look forward to discovery day every year and enjoy the hands-on interaction she says. “It’s nice that the mess is here and not at home.”

The event was packed full of creative ideas parents could use to entertain and educate their children, such as how to make flubber, the famous play dough like substance made from a mix of water, glue, and borax, which was a very popular station among the children. There were over 20 stations with activities like the above mentioned and also: live music, face painting, Gene West the toy maker and all of his hand-made toys, balloon animals, bubbles, etc. There was also a silent auction and a raffle going on for parents to stop by to try and win something while supporting the Child Development Center.

Each station was manned by a volunteer, usually a child development student here on campus. There were also returning students who had come back to help out at the event such as Batool Hussain, a 24-year-old child development major who attends Californ

ia State University Channel Islands. She came back to Moorpark this year to help volunteer for the third time at Discovery Day.

“It’s a really good opportunity for students to come back and prospective students to see what this program can do.” Hussain said.

Moorpark College students outside of the child development program were also in attendance at the event, volunteering at a Chemistry booth (run by the Honors Club and the Chemistry Club) and a face painting booth (run by students from the performing arts center).

“The look of surprise on the kids’ faces in the wonders of chemistry is the best” said 23 year old John Ploense, the Chemistry Club President and a chemical engineering major.

Moorpark College Professor David Weinstein and his wife Tina play with thier son Elijah at Discovery Day. The event offered over 20 booths and activites for families to enjoy.
Moorpark College Professor David Weinstein and his wife Tina play with thier son Elijah at Discovery Day. The event offered over 20 booths and activites for families to enjoy.

Among all the volunteers and participants there were rookies and veterans, but they all seemed to have the same attitude about Discovery Day and what it did for the children and the community.

This was the third time Greg Pontoppidan has brought his four year old son Erik to discovery day. It’s good for the children because it provides them with a different kind of hands-on experience than the batteries and a screen they may be used to he says. The event is full of things they can really get their hands on.

“Discovery Day demonstrates the resource that the Child Development Center is for the community, not just the students,” said Pontoppidan. “It’s a great establishment.”

But of course having 300 plus kids running around is a lot to manage, but the center managed to pull it off with great results under the leadership of Bonnie Baruch, the Child Development Center Coordinator, who says the credit goes to a large group effort.

“Not only are the child development students helping with this but students from other clubs are here,” Baruch said. “It’s a real team effort and it’s just been fantastic.”

Discovery Day was full of fun, laughter, and occasionally tears from the children who just didn’t want to go home. But all in all it was a great event. And for some it may be the begging of a very long and enjoyable relationship with the program.

“This is the third time I’ve done this but it’s still as great as the first,” said 18-year-old chemistry major and club member Bradley Le. “The kids are having such a good time so I don’t see why I wouldn’t be.”