The weather was perfect, and so was almost everything else about this year's Cool Science Carnival Day at UCCS. Many folks commented that it was the best ever, and we agree!
If you were there, please let us know what you liked, didn't like, and if you have any ideas about how we can make it even better next year by commenting below (you may need to click on the "# Comments" link first to open the blog post).
You can also comment and share your photos (we love photos!) on our Carnival Day Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2051269988227340/
Thanks to everyone who made it a great day, especially our sponsors and all of the organizations who provided the shows, tours, workshops and hands-on activity stations!
Join us once again for the Colorado Springs Cool Science Festival! Mark your calendars for October 13-21, as Cool Science celebrates the wonders of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math in this jam-packed week of activities for the entire family!
The festival starts with a bang at The Cool Science Carnival Day for Kids (lots of fun for all ages), which will be held on the UCCS campus on October 13th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Activities will range from spectacular shows about chemistry and explosions, to hands-on training on how to make your own ice cream using liquid nitrogen, to meeting a crew of firefighters. Kids and adults will also get to enjoy a pop-up planetarium with Challenger Learning Center, watch master magician Bruce Black blend comedy, magic, and science principles to take the audience on an amazing magical journey to the planet Mars, meet and greet with animals from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, play with life-sized replicas of R2-D2 and BB8 from Star Wars with the Mountain States Droid Builders, and cook mini s'mores in a real solar oven with Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society.
For a full list of all the cool activities you can do on Carnival Day click HERE.
Last Sunday at the Pikes Peak Marathon Block Party, a little girl wearing a pink dress visited the Cool Science booth with her family. All of them, the mom, dad, three sisters, and brother, were captivated by dragon’s breath, cereal that gives you the ability to blow smoke like a dragon. Well, not EXACTLY smoke. It’s actually a cloud of water vapor formed because the cereal is dipped in liquid nitrogen, which is -320°F.
At first the family was hesitant to put the cold-as-the-planet-Neptune cereal in their mouths, but finally the brave mom stepped forward. After she showed her family that the coast was clear and the fun you can have blowing clouds, the brother and two older sisters were eager to get their hands on some dragon’s breath of their own. The littlest sister was still not sure she wanted to commit to the experience, but her eyes betrayed her fascination with the science.
After the dragon’s breath, the family was able to make their own penny puzzles. When pennies made of zinc are cooled in liquid nitrogen, they become brittle and break into tiny pieces, which make excellent puzzles. This doesn’t happen to copper pennies (those made before 1982) because copper remains strong even when bellow -320°F.
The little girl was still apprehensive about experimenting with liquid nitrogen, however.
So, Cool Science showed her all the amazing things you can do with the substance. We showed her that it flash boils instantly when it hits the ground, leaving nothing but a small cloud. How it rolls along the table on a cushion of gas thanks to the Leidenfrost effect. And that its low viscosity means the liquid spins around in a beaker really fast—even when the beaker is upside down.
By the end of her visit, the little girl’s curiosity and wonder at the experiments may have sparked her future career as a scientist!
-posted by Joshua