An Afternoon of Science, Thunder-Style

On a Saturday afternoon, more than 300 kids attended the first Thunder Kids Club party at Science Museum Oklahoma.

All members were treated to an exclusive celebration that included visits from players Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha. Thunder television play-by-play announcer Brian Davis emceed the event and hosted a question-and-answer session with each of the three teammates.

“What’s your favorite part of playing in Oklahoma City?” Davis asked Westbrook.

“Well, it’s got to be this right here,” Westbrook said as he gestured to the audience. “It’s you guys. It’s got to be the fans.”

Players joined the kids in interactive science activities that were stationed throughout the room. One of the most popular stations was “LN2 Cheese Puffs.” Participants dipped a cheese ball in liquid nitrogen and put it in their mouths. The rapid change in temperature created a smoke-like vapor that poured out of mouths and noses.

“You know, I’m a kid at heart,” Harden said. “Coming here and being able to meet some of our younger fans and doing this, is really a good time for me. I love seeing the smiles on their faces.”

Other demonstrations included “Reaction Rockets” and “Cornstarch Suspension.” Fans and players also toured the “Destination Space” exhibit. Its featured Items included NASA artifacts and focused on spin, angular momentum and the Laws of Planetary Motion.

Kids Club members from near and far came to the party. Thirteen-year-old Conner Angleton made the 90-minute trip from Enid to join in the fun.

“I got pictures with some of my favorite Thunder players: Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha,” Angleton said. “I entered a drawing for a signed ball and tickets, and Rumble came, and it was pretty fun.”

The festivities also featured face painters, Pop-a-Shot stations, Rumble and the Thunder Girls. In addition, kids had the opportunity to get their picture taken with each player at a photo station.

Zack Lieingood, 13, touted the benefits of being a Thunder Kids Club member. “Being a Kids Club member is pretty cool,” he said. “You get awesome opportunities like coming to this event and prizes. Today, I hung around, rode a Segway and got a picture with my favorite player, Sefolosha.”

After the event, members were able to continue their visit to the museum and check out its many exhibits. Everyone left the party with smiles.

In March, the Kids Club celebrated its 1,000th member. To date, there are nearly 1,250 participants. Registration for this season has closed, but fans can visit for upcoming announcements on Kids Club opportunities for the 2010-11 season.

Vicki Guerra is the Manager of Corporate Communications for the Thunder.