Date Posted: Sep 29, 2021
Pensacola MESS Hall brings science, engineering, and math to the masses with its Foo Foo Festival events that you don’t want to miss
For Pensacola MESS Hall, the two weeks of the Foo Foo Festival will be all fun and games with its special events specifically planned to add to the enjoyment of the annual event while also encouraging a little problem solving and creative thinking.
The Pensacola MESS Hall is all about math, engineering, science, and stuff (it’s literally what MESS stands for), and its mission is to inspire curiosity, experimentation, and creative problem solving through those areas. This year, the organization has planned three distinct don’t-miss events for gamers and thinkers of all ages to enjoy.
First up is Science of Strategy, which is focused exclusively on games. To be held at multiple pop-up locations around Pensacola, Science of Strategy is an opportunity for attendees to partake in science and math games. “Some games may be recognizable, but some won’t be,” says Pensacola MESS Hall Executive Director Megan Pratt. “These games will touch on a variety of different kinds of things that make games fun, from probability and chance to mathematical thinking and reasoning.”
Because the pop-up games will be hosted in various places outdoors during the Festival, it gives people not only a chance to have some free fun and learn a little along the way but also enjoy time with others. “Throughout history, games have been a part of how we relate with other people, whether it’s playing sports or rolling dice and playing cards,” Pratt adds. “These games will be a great opportunity for people to interact, and because we’re outside, some of the games will be bigger and very visual.”
The fun and games with the Pensacola MESS Hall don’t end there, as the organization will also be hosting Games Unplugged, a special curiosity day at Pensacola MESS Hall for festival-goers to make a stop to the Hall and get their game on. Free with MESS Hall admission, the curiosity day program will offer a whole different set of games that offer new sets of experiences.
The game lineup includes ancient games, puzzle and paper games, and even games that require some hands-on crafting. Most importantly, it’s games that are completely unplugged, so it encourages fun away from video games. “Some of these games use very simple materials,” Pratt says.
“When it comes to experimenting and critical thinking, materials aren’t so critical. And that’s one thing we’ve always embraced at MESS Hall: it doesn’t take high-tech equipment to do science or math. A lot of times you just need basic items you can find around the house.”
Rounding out the festivities will be Clue at the Museum Night. Partnering with IMPROVable Cause, a local Pensacola improv group, Pensacola MESS Hall will be hosting a CLUE-style mystery theater that will require attendees to investigate clues, solve problems, interrogate suspects, and hopefully solve the whodunnit.
Tickets will be required for the event, which will be hosted at the Hall. “This year we’re excited that we have something for literally everyone at every age,” Pratt says. “Everyone will have opportunities to engage with fun games of all types while also learning and discovering new things. That’s what we’re all about, and we’re excited to be sharing that with Foo Foo Festival.”