COSI Blog

Random Musings

07
May
2013

Flash!

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
25
April
2013

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
24
April
2013

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.
24
April
2013

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."
22
April
2013

Know Your Mother

Some Incredible Earth Facts to Celebrate on Earth Day

1) The Earth isn't round!

Actually, (like a lot of us) the Earth is a bit plump about the middle. Why? Because it's spinning so fast! The Earth's rotation creates stress on the rocks and the oceans, causing the planet to bulge around the equator. In fact, because the Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean and because water is easier to move than land, the Earth is a little bit pear-shaped!

2) The tallest mountain is . . . well . . .

You probably said Mount Everest right away. It's true that Everest is the point on Earth farthest from sea level. However, there are at least two challengers to Everest's claim. If you measure base to peak, then Mauna Kea in the Hawaiian Islands is actually about four thousand feet taller than Everest. Of course, Mauna Kea begins on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and doesn't even break sea level until it's already almost 20,000 feet high. But if you put the two side by side, Mauna Kea would actually be larger.
Gorgeous view of Pacific Ocean.
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