Louisiana Tech’s IDEA Place will soon be the site of Friday night fun — and scientific ideas, of course — during Sci-Fri Parents’ Nights, when children can visit the center while their parents have a night of respite.

Parents will soon be able to have a night out while the kids are learning something at Louisiana Tech, courtesy of the IDEA Place. Not only that — the children will actually be having fun.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 12, the IDEA Place will sponsor Sci-Fri Parents’ Night the second Friday of each month.

Lindsey Keith-Vincent, museum educator, said children from 5 to 12 years old will be able to enjoy experiments and excitement from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for a cost of $20, which includes pizza and a drink.

‘All of our monthly Sci-Fri events will be themed,’ she explained, with participants being exposed to new concepts every month.

Sara Tyler, of Ruston, a recent visitor to Tech’s IDEA Place, participates in an experiment dubbed “Sickening Science.”</

September’s topic will be weather. Earlier favorites like Cloud in a Bottle will return, but many new activities and projects will be planned as well.

‘The main thing we want to do with the IDEA Place this year is to get the community involved more,’ Keith-Vincent said. ‘We want to get children to learn when they don’t even realize they’re learning, plus they’re hanging out with their friends.’ What’s more, she said, the parents will have a break while their children are at Tech.

Keith-Vincent said that even though the concept is for parents to drop the children off, adults who want to stay with their children to get them acclimated – or even for the entire evening – may do so.

Space is limited, ‘so be sure to give us a call and let us know if you’re planning to come,’ she said.

Louisiana Tech’s IDEA Place provides hours of fun — and learning — for area children, such as Jalen Ferguson, of Grambling, who (as the student pictured above) is participating in Sickening Science. Even with “sickening” in the project’s title, officials say the children love it.</

The IDEA Place is housed in the College of Education. Since the center’s mission centers on awakening the excitement of learning by doing, ‘IDEA’ denotes ‘Investigate, Discover, Explore and Ask.’ Specific themes are aimed at increasing appreciation and understanding of science and mathematics.

Another IDEA Place event on the horizon: a repeat of last year’s popular Spooktacular during the week of Halloween.

For more information or to make reservations, call (318) 257-2866 or e-mail Keith-Vincent at lbk003@latech.edu.

Written by Sallie Hollis