TBP Carnival Delights ChildrenBy Jennifer Chung
Approximately 60 children ranging in age from six to 13 from the Charlestown Boys andGirls Club and the Young Women's Christian Associationspent a fun-filled Saturday at MIT playing with good-natured volunteers and demonstrating their prowess at carnival booth activities sponsored by MIT's chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society.
The event began with a science show presented by ClubChem. The children watched with awe as various objects were frozen and a viscous liquid turned three different colors.
The children were then released to play games and eat food. There were many games for the children to participate in - their options included frisbee bowling, the beanbag toss, the penny bottle toss, the moonwalk, and balloons anddarts. The games were so popular, many booths ran out of prizes quickly. Despite this handicap, however, children still flocked to toyless booths.
Over by the dunking booth, eight-year-old David had already successfully dunked Ien Cheng G, one of three dunkees, twice before his turn was over. "I also hit it twice,"Joshua, 9, said. Both were having fun, and David's favorite activity was obviously the dunking booth, as he waited in line for another turn.
The pleasant, warm day might explain why another popular activity was bobbing for apples. Volunteer Karen W. Seto '98, said that "it's very popular because the kids like getting wet." At last count, the most apples bobbed by one child was 10.
In addition to apples, less healthy food items could be found including typical carnival fare such as popcorn, hot dogs, and cotton candy. With the latter, not only eating but creating one's own cotton candy was an enjoyable activity - children were often seen over the silver cotton candy vat being guided by a volunteer.
The resulting sticky clothes were comparable to the velcro suits worn by children running the obstacle course. This blue-tongued reporter can herself attest to the gooeyness of humid cotton candy.
When all involved were happily exhausted, the children went in droves of 10 to Toscanini's, where they cooled down to the refreshing taste of ice cream.
"The project was an experience and adventure because it was the first time [for TBP] - but it went well,"said Tseh-Hwan Yong '98, the event coordinator and TBP vice-president. Rex K. Min '98 agreed that they were happy for the opportunity to host so many children, and that the event was a great volunteer activity for members.
"The kids are having a great time,"said Jerry Steimel of the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club. "This has been a very well-organized event, and the students are terrific."
The Boys and Girls Club is a 104-year-old youth development center which features after school and educational programs. It functions as a drop-in center for members ranging from age six to 18.
The 120 members of TBP were offered membership during their junior year. Criteria for membership include being in the top eighth of the engineering class for juniors, or top third for seniors,and giving fifteen hours to service.