When your child is injured....

Warm sunny weather provides the perfect opportunity for parents to power down electronic screens and chase their kids out of the house and into the great outdoors.

Makes sense, right?

After all, increased screen time leads to decreased physical activity and increased snacking, essential ingredients for obesity. But let's face it... the great outdoors has problems of its own: injuries!

Head contusions, bee stings, lacerations, broken bones and sprained ankles. You don't get these from a couple hours on the PlayStation. Let your kids run around outside, and you have a different story.

Still, the benefit of outdoor activity outweighs the risk. And there are things you can do to prevent injuries, such as cycling with helmets, skating with knee pads and wrist guards, taking swimming lessons, and good old-fashioned adult supervision.

But sometimes our best effort still leads to an accident. At these times, parents ask themselves an important question: Where do we turn for help?


Just over three and a half billion years ago, in the direction of the constellation Leo the Lion, something big happened – something very, very big. That very big something caused a beam of intensely energetic (yet invisible) light to fly our way. It's been traveling toward us all this time, as our Earth evolved and changed, until finally, on April 27, 2013, it reached our planet.

On that date, astronomers operating telescopes in orbit around the Earth recorded the most powerful gamma ray burst they'd seen in decades. Now those same astronomers are anxiously watching the same patch of sky for what they believe must follow, a giant stellar explosion called a supernova. If they can spot it, they will learn much about stars, their moments of death, and the origin of us all.

So what's the big deal about gamma rays?
Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

Spring Means it’s Time for Backyard Science Day

With spring finally here and the weather warming up, it's time to get outside and explore the many wonders around us.

Spring also means it's time for the annual "Backyard Science Day" at COSI, and I couldn't be more excited.

The event is Saturday, April 27, and I personally encourage parents to bring their children out to COSI for a fun-filled day that includes interactive, hands-on demonstrations and take-home materials intended to help guests explore everything there is to know about their own backyards. The backyard is important in that it is where many children start to understand and connect with nature.
Photo from Backyard Science Day

Celebrating COSI Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

We are excited to be celebrating our volunteers at COSI during National Volunteer Week, April 21 - 27. COSI Volunteers are an essential part of the COSI experience and contribute to all aspects of the organization. When I have a chance to interview a teen for a volunteer position with us, I always like to ask, "What made you interested in volunteering at COSI?."
Photo of COSI volunteers.

New Maker Initiative Launching At COSI This Summer

At the 2013 White House Science Fair this week, President Obama spoke about the new commitments in the Educate to Innovate campaign, including the Maker Corps initiative. "This summer, the Maker Education Initiative will launch the first-ever Maker Corps. These volunteers will give more young people the opportunity to design and build something that is personally meaningful to them. In its first year, over 100 Maker Corps members - in 19 states and Washington D.C. - will work with 34 partner organizations such as schools, libraries, and science centers."
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