The University of Southern Mississippi Roots N’ Shoots chapter is hosting the Haunted Halloween Biology Trail from 4 -7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 in the Biological Sciences Learning Center, located in the basement of Mississippi Hall on the Hattiesburg campus.
The event is free of charge and open to the community. The trail is designed for ages 4-12, but is appropriate for all ages and represents a revised version of the standard biology trail with unique, exciting and spooky twists.
The trail was launched in 2005 to create a hands-on learning activity to engage Southern Miss students in getting children in the community excited about biology and science. In past years, hundreds of children and adults have attended. The trail is created and hosted by Southern Miss students who serve as tour guides and provide entertainment.
“Our haunted trail is staffed by biology students who provide creative, fun and interesting ways to learn about fossils, insects, and cells,” said Dr. Aimee Thomas, biological sciences instructor.
Thomas says the children will experience live animals, participate in a fossil dig, touch bones of a fossilized whale, experience the world of chemistry and witness a chemical eruption. In previous years, students learned about marine science, bacterial cell growth, and the magic of energy.
“In the past, at one station, children learned about marine science and got a treat of goldfish crackers,” said Thomas. “We associate the treats to each specific learning area. The trail is a fun way for the entire family to experience biology with an exciting twist.”
Roots N’ Shoots involves youths and college students who enjoy learning about and servicing their communities. Students plan and implement projects to benefit people, animals and the environment. The Southern Miss chapter was established in 2005. Globally, Roots N’ Shoots engages students through community service learning opportunities and activities.
The Haunted Halloween Trail and Mississippi Hall can be located by entering the Hattiesburg campus on East Memorial Drive from Hardy Street and following the signs to the Haunted Trail.