On Dec. 23, the Central Colorado Humanists sponsored a Children’s Science Festival at the Salida Scout Hut that may become a tradition. The Humanists feature the popular Science Sunday program on the first Sunday of each month at the Salida Scout Hut, and the addition of a holiday children’s science program is new.
Award-winning science teacher Greg Justis proposed doing the program last year to the Central Colorado Humanist board, and the inaugural event drew dozens of youthful enthusiasts and parents.
The event mirrored historic science instruction initiated by scientist Michael Faraday (the inventor of the electric motor) in Great Britain in 1824, a tradition still carried on today.
Faraday was a proponent of science education and his Christmas Lectures for children were recognized by the science community and the Royal Institution has continued the tradition to this day.
Program participants were treated to lectures, demonstrations and hands-on activities from magnetic fields, electromagnetism, the world’s most simple electric train to more sophisticated science. Bill Sample, an electrical engineer and Boys & Girls Club STEM volunteer, demonstrated the autonomous Europa Rover which he built with the assistance of club members.
Another Justis assistant, Kieran Hall, demonstrated the creation of an atmosphere similar to that on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, which has been the focus of much scientific study.
The Children’s Science Festival concluded with hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for all.