Science carnival to kick off week of 'cool,' geeky fun

October 13, 2011

Learn something amazing about the world around you.

That’s the goal of the Colorado Springs Cool Science Festival, and “amazing” is the long list of mostly free activities and presentations.

The festival begins Saturday at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, with a science carnival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be about 85 stations and dozens of shows.

A detailed list is online, but activities include video game designing, rocket building, hearing experiments and star-gazing.

Magician Bruce Black will share tricks and illusions, then explain how science is key to magic.
Ormao Dance Company will dance out geometry lessons and other math concepts.

A simulated cave will test maneuvering skills in dark and damp conditions.

Air Force Academy cadets will demonstrate science concepts such as electricity, magnetism and gyroscopic motion. After their shows, people can play with the equipment themselves.

And that barely scratches the surface.

“Most activities will be interesting to all kids,” said Marc Straub, Cool Science president and festival organizer. “It’s a pretty good mix.”

It’s the second year for the Cool Science Festival, and it has grown exponentially since last year’s one-day event. It is the biggest of its kind in Colorado this year, Straub said.

“We wanted something on par with national festivals,” said DeeAnn Rothstein, Colorado Springs Science Center Project founding director and festival marketing lead. “It was a big step.”

This year, the festival stretches across eight days, involving more than 80 organizations and with events in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Woodland Park and Pueblo. Volunteers and four main nonprofits — Colorado Springs Science Center Project, Cool Science, UCCS Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (CSTEME), and BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) — organized the festival. Planning started in January.

“I spent most of my summer calling the entire state of Colorado — and I have the phone bill to prove it,” Straub said.

Companies and organizations came up with ways to participate, which took some burden off organizers, he said.

Most activities and events are free, although admission is required for a few. Tickets are required for many events because of space limitations.

Events during the week include guided hikes, scavenger hunts, model airplane flying and rocket launches.

Some events are definitely not for kids. Bristol Brewery put together a “Beer Science” Tour for Sunday, and “Geeks Who Drink” events at area drinking holes during the week will feature several science-focused trivia rounds.

Today will be a flurry of activity as volunteers set up exhibits and equipment across the UCCS campus. And the steering committee is looking ahead to 2012.

“It will be even bigger next year,” Straub said.

Contact Kristina Iodice: 636-0162

Twitter @GazetteKristina
Facebook Kristina Iodice

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