A dozen sites in and around Omaha will provide free science-related activities for the public during the inaugural Nebraska Science Festival.
The festival, which runs April 12-14, features science- and technology-related activities all with the goal of making science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for kids and adults alike.
During the festival weekend, each participating site will offer free admission and/or a free activity during specially designated times.
Tickets may be required and can be found online at nescifest.com or in the Festival program guide. A limited number of guides will be available at the participating sites.
Presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Science Festival brings together various science-related Nebraska organizations interested in the advancement of science literacy.
Here’s a closer look at the Festival participants and what each will offer:
City Sprouts Community Garden - Join us from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 14, and get a head start on your garden. What makes seeds grow? What grows from seeds? How many different ways are there to plant seeds? We will answer these questions and more. Tour the gardens at 4002 Seward St. and then take home several types of seeds that you can grow in your garden. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
The Durham Museum – Join us at the inaugural Nebraska Science Festival Expo and participate in fun and engaging hands-on learning opportunities. On April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a wide variety of booths to promote science and its impact in our everyday lives. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater – On April 13 at 2 p.m., Film Streams will present a special screening of the documentary “Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin & the Farm Midwives. Following the film, a panel discussion will be presented by the Olson Center for Women’s Health. Tickets for the screening and discussion are $9 general, $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military and those arriving by bicycle, and $4.50 for Film Streams members.
Fontenelle Forest – Love birds? Join us April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for bird banding, guided bird hikes, raptor presentations by Raptor Recovery Nebraska and Fontenelle Forest staff members. You also can explore artifact tables and visit a booth staffed by Wild Birds Unlimited. Children can do an art/craft project. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
The French Bulldog – On April 14 from noon to 2 p.m., discover “The Science of Charcuterie.” Participants will learn the science involved in curing meat from Bryce Coulton, head chef at The French Bulldog. Participants will learn about all the different techniques required to ensure that the meat is cured properly, will taste good, and is safe to eat. Must be 21 and older to attend, $5 per person. RSVP required to email@example.com as space is limited.
Hot Shops Art Center – On April 13-14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the art center will feature special Science of Art displays and free demos. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
Joslyn Art Museum - Karin Campbell, the museum’s Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art, will present three 20-minute talks about the Jennifer Steinkamp: Madame Curie exhibit. The April 14 talks are scheduled for 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Free admission from noon to 3 p.m. with a SciFest ticket.
Lauritzen Gardens - Life on Earth is sustained through a web of incredible interconnections. Explore this architecture of life in the “Nature Connects” exhibit at the Lauritzen Gardens, which features 27 larger-than-life sculptures built from nearly half-a-million individual LEGO® bricks. Free admission on April 13-14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one child age 12 and under with every paid adult admission with SciFest ticket.
Metropolitan Community College – On April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all ages are invited to explore various science disciplines through interactive activities with an underlying theme of energy or motion. “Science in Motion” will be located in the science area of the Mahoney building at the South Campus. Also on hand will be the Department of Health and Public Service with activities that include: Trauma Emergencies/Immobilization, Cardiac Station, Jaws of Life/Extrication Demonstration and Fire Hose Evolutions. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – On April 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit prehistoric and modern day animals at the Dinosaurs Alive: The Lost Valley exhibit. Discover how you can protect these modern day animals and habitats by touring the conservation research center and see where our researchers work. Dive in and discover the ocean by becoming a marine biologist. Spend your time identifying penguins and taking measurements for turtle research. Finish your adventure meeting and working with a paleontologist. Regular zoo admission. Redeem a SciFest ticket to receive a bag of fossils.
The Strategic Air & Space Museum - On April 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum will offer a variety of hands-on activities in our Science Zone. Make a snowflake to take home, build your own hovercraft, launch paper rockets and much more. Be sure to be at the museum for a 1 p.m. presentation by Nebraska’s hometown astronaut, Clayton Anderson. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.
UNMC College of Dentistry, Lincoln – On April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the College of Dentistry at 40th and Holdrege streets on the UNL East Campus. You’ll also receive a brief overview of the college, have an opportunity to “play dentist” with dental simulators, enjoy other hands-on activities, and a demonstration of SimMan, medical emergency simulator. Free admission with a SciFest ticket.