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Teaching kids the magic of science at the Cool Science Carnival

The kickoff event for a 3-week festival aims to encourage young children to become scientists
Cool Science demonstration
Posted at 8:10 PM, Oct 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-02 10:47:57-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Cool Science is about making science and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) cool for kids.

It all started in 2001 when founder Jennifer Lacy (Rivers), a chemist and engineer teamed up with other scientists such as Ron Furstenau and they created the 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2003.

They traveled around to local schools displaying fun chemistry and other science demonstrations. As more volunteer scientists and engineers started to grow, so did their programs.

Cool Science started to host whole-day presentations with 4-6 different science shows and mini-carnivals with hands-on activities.

In 2008, volunteer engineer Marc Staub took over and was able to expand the "Day of Science" into a full carnival.

Thanks to the collaborations with annual public workshops, local vendors, volunteers, and UCCS, this soon grew into the annual fall Carnival Day at UCCS.

75 local companies, organizations, clubs, and non-profits had booths set up across UCSC's campus to teach kids about things like physics by launching rockets, gravity by lifting others in a harness, plants by eating which ones are edible, and even a science magic show.

A retired chemistry professor at the Air Force Academy and Cool Science Board President, Dr. Ron Fuerstenau put on the science magic show to tell kids that while science may look like magic, it's all real.

"Lots of times, science to a lot of kids can seem unreachable to them. And we want them to know from an early age that science is something you can make a living at," said Dr. Furstenau.

Dr. Furstenau had several volunteers come down to help him with experiments while encouraging the young children to think about growing up to be a scientist.

Carnival day kicks off three weeks of fun STEM events going on now through October 9th at the Cool Science Festival.

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