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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Boulder Science Fest Update: Lower Admission, More Stuff

By Phil Plait

One of the characteristics of a good scientist is to be able to roll with the punches when new data come in.

After looking at registration figures and other factors, weâve decided to lower the admission price to the Boulder Science Festival to $85 for adults and $45 for students of any age (that includes kids). Weâve also added some new vendors like Amy Davis Rothâs Surly-Ramics scientific jewelry, and other fun stuff like a solar observing session where you can see the Sun and solar activity through a telescope with your own eyes, and an exhibition by the local Fairview High School robotics team.

The Boulder Science Festival is a two-day celebration of science that will be held on Oct. 12-13, 2013, in Boulder, Colorado. My wife Marcella and I are organizing it, because a) we love science, and 2) we love Boulder, where a lot of very cool science is going on. Thatâs why we have Dr. Carolyn Porco as our Keynote speaker, where sheâll talk about the amazing discoveries and jaw-dropping pictures returned from Saturn by the Cassini mission.

Iâll be speaking as well (about the Mars Curiosity rover), and we have talks about climate, geology, and paleontology. And beer. Because Boulder. Weâve just added Colorado House Majority Leader (and Boulderâs District 10 Representative) Dickey Lee Hullinghorst to the roster to get things started with an introduction to the festival.

Weâll get your heart pumping with science hikes; two things we have a lot of in the area are geology and nature. If you prefer sitting (as so many of us do), we'll have a lunchtime concert by Danielle Ate the Sandwich. October is pretty amazing here in town (humidity is low, temperatures mild, and aspens yellow) and weâll be holding some of the festival outside where you can have lunch and participate in some hands-on science. I assume, though, that holding an actual meteorite in your hand, creating a comet out of common materials, and looking at the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water are all things that might interest folks who read this blog.

In a fun coincidence, Boulder's wonderful Fiske Planetarium is undergoing a major upgrade which will be completed and open to the public at the same time as the Festival! I really like Fiske; I've been many times, and in fact shot several science documentary interviews there over the years. I can't tell you much about it right nowâthey'll be making the detailed announcement very soonâbut the new star projector they're installing will be truly amazing, and will be the envy of planetaria across the country. I can't wait to see what it'll do!

The Festival is gearing up to be a lot of fun, and a great way to get yourself (and kids!) even more excited about science. You can check our Facebook page for updates and photos. I hope to see lots of BABloggees there.

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