UCCS hosts Cool Science Carnival to boost science awareness

Oct. 20, 2014

Kyle Guthrie
[email protected]

The annual Colorado Springs Science Festival kicked off Oct. 11 with the Cool Science Carnival at UCCS.

Exhibits included everything from a “Build Your Own Rocket” display, courtesy of the local Civil Air Force, to a cave system reconstruction that allowed kids to crawl through the crevices.

The Rocky Mountain Robotics Club was set up in the main plaza just outside University Center and attracted participants that were allowed to control robots in a roped off area.

Jason Buhler, head coach of the Rocky Mountain Robotics Club, enjoyed being part of the event.

“This is an awesome event,” Buhler said. “I think this is our fourth year coming here, it’s great.”

The club is a high school robotics program and part of the international organization, For Inspiration of Recognition of Science and Technology.

FIRST is comprised of students interested in engineering and robotics. Students create a robot capable of playing a predetermined game for the carnival.

“The bigger mission of FIRST and our team is not so much to build the robot,” Buhler said, “but to promote science, engineering and technology to the world. That’s why we come to events like this.”

Participants were actively engaged in a series of scientific explorations all over the campus.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, coordinator for the event and the programs manager for the Center of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education, spoke about the goals and drive of the festival as a whole.

“It’s really getting our community science aware, or science cognoscente,” she said.

“As we have conversations about global warming, rather than listening to Democrats and Republicans, it’s important that people actually listen to science and know what it means. Only then can people make their mind up about a topic.”

The festival ran through Oct. 19.

Some festival events were geared towards younger audiences, such as the stargazing tour at the Star Light, Star Bright Observatory. The event aimed to give young minds a view into the world of astronomy and the galaxy.

There was also the County Coroner Crime Lab tour, which took participants through the El Paso County Coroner’s Office and gave first-hand experience to those interested in studying forensic sciences.

Adult themed sections focused on topics such as beer and whiskey distillation. Several exhibits focused on scientific debates about topics such as genetically modified organisms and organics.