Children gather around a scientific demonstration on a table outdoors.
Observing the 'fabrication' and taste of Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream is an annual tradition for youth who visit the many science activity booths hosted by the Center on Kids Day at the Central PA Festival of the Arts each July.

Each July, State College and the Penn State University Park campus hosts thousands of visitors for the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  The first day of the festival, known as "Children and Youth Day" (or "Arts Fest Kids Day"), celebrates the curiosity and creativity of kids.  For many years, the Penn State MRSEC has coordinated a large science outreach presence on Old Main Lawn.  MRSEC booths are lead by the Outreach & Education Team with a total of ~80 volunteers. Graduate students work with undergraduates from the Interdisciplinary Materials & Physics REU program and high school students from the Upward Bound Math & Science Program (UBMS) to design, prepare, and present interactive science activities and demonstrations to ~1300 visitors.  The effort not only inspires smiles for science in front of the table, volunteers experience even greater impact behind the table.  Benefits include a comraderie that develops from the vertical mentorship structure, which provides support and encourages retention, and repeated opportunties to practice, model, and perfect effective science communication.