To wrap up its Festival of Chocolate, MOSI hoped to break two world records by creating the largest cup of hot cocoa and hosting the world's largest practical science lesson.
Most participants were in shorts and white T-shirts (maybe not the best color choice) as they gathered around a giant cup filled with 880 gallons of hot chocolate. On this mild Monday afternoon at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, the group, 300 strong, had also joined in a practical science lesson earlier in the day.
Now it was time for the big splash.
They photographed and videotaped the lesson for their official Guinness World Record entries.
"They are learning about potential energy, kinetic energy and they are creating candy cannons," said Vivian McIlrath, the community education coordinator for MOSI. The kids used their cannons to launch marshmallows into the swirling cocoa as a team from MOSI manned wooden catapults as cheers rang out.
The museum's own Willy Wonka joined in by tossing more marshmallows into the brew as he raced across a zip line high above the crowd.
Justin Keene's face and shirt were drenched in chocolate as the event ended. "We were standing toward the front and they didn't tell us the chocolate was going the spray everywhere," the 11 year-old said as he was heading back home to Winter Haven with his family.
"It was really fun," Justin said.