UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes > March 1997 Search

Super Science Saturday wows 'em at Mesa Lab

(All photos by Carlye Calvin.)
Pil-Jae Lee hunts for bugs on a set of plants furnished by the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center.

A kid-sized version of the NCAR microburst exhibit captures the attention of Todd and Jeff Houghton.

Jenean Roberts, daughter of NCAR's Rita Roberts, took part in the photography clinic organized by Carlye Calvin.

Spiders? Yuck! Rachel Saccardi is repelled, fascinated, or perhaps both.

Undeterred by a fresh snowpack, over 800 youngsters, parents, and teachers poured into the Mesa Lab on 1 March for NCAR's second annual Super Science Saturday. This year's event was cosponsored by Boulder's Collage Children's Museum. Other participants included the University of Colorado's Science Discovery program and the Westminster-based Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center.

"All of the workshops and science demonstration sessions were filled to capacity," reports organizer Linda Carbone. Special seminars introduced the crowd to cloud/storm photography (Greg Thompson), Web surfing for weather data (Bob Henson), and avalanches (Richard Armstrong, CU). Facepainting and bubblemaking, led by volunteers from Collage, brought a new ambience to the Mesa Lab mezzanine. Down the hall, Tim Barnes conducted science demonstrations, while downstairs, Carlye Calvin led a photography clinic and Carter Emmart introduced kids to the wonders of computer visualization. One highlight for Linda came when three eight-year-old girls from Denver--covered in bee stickers from the Butterfly Pavilion--buzzed up to her and said, "This is a fun day!" A teacher from Fort Collins asked Linda, "Do you do this every Saturday?"

Super Science Saturday is funded by a mini-grant from Denver's Scientific and Cultural Facilities District as a tool for bringing lay science to the public. According to Linda, "Getting 825 students, teachers, and their families from all over the Denver metropolitan area up to the Mesa Lab on a snowy Saturday tells you just how much interest exists and just how much need there is for informal science activities." •BH


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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu