WILLCOX — Parkgoers visited, played games and bought sugary treats for science last Thursday.

The annual Fun in the Park Fourth of July celebration is a tradition for Willcox. The Willcox Rotary Club organized the event; but this year, Rotarians also worked with the Willcox Science Club to fund the local teens’ trip to Houston.

The high school Science Club partnered with EG’s Shaved Ice so that every cup of the sweet treat that was sold benefited the club. In exchange, the Willcox Science Club youths worked with the Rotary Club orchestrating and organizing games, and helping Rotary volunteers. Other organizations, including Willcox Against Substance Abuse (WASA), also participated in the event.

The Science Club will be entering the International Space Settlement Design Competition and will be designing a settlement for living conditions on the moon. This will be the second year the local Willcox youths will be competing.

“I am really looking forward to going again. It’s such a fun experience meeting new people from around the globe and putting our brilliant minds together to do aerospace engineering,” said Science Club member Mackenzie Palkovics. “By selling EG’s at the park on the Fourth of July, it helped us come closer to our goal to allow everyone to travel to Florida at the end of this month. It was also a nice chance to work for our community and show that we are willing to work towards our goal.”

Ty White, who is the Willcox High School science, chemistry, biology and math teacher, told the Range News the camp will take place at the Kennedy Space Center and that next year, he hopes to invite the entire Southwest region. Last year, the students were able to visit the Apollo Museum and the shuttle Atlantis.

“I want to target and spread this more rural this year, but this is supposed to be a Southwest event,” White said. “I’m going to be traveling next year to two more of the rural schools to get them brought in and participate in this. We will be hosting the next Southwest’s regional in the spring semester of this upcoming school year. We’re inviting more; we’re trying to get this to grow. I need to get the word out to anybody in the Southwest region to participate.”

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