COSI SCIENCE FESTIVAL – A Virtual science celebration for 2020

Monday, 04 May 2020

Author: Jaclyn Reynolds

COLUMBUS, OH – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, The 2020 COSI Science Festival has pivoted from a four-day physical festival to a digital format May 6-9, 2020. COSI Science Festival fans and Ohioans everywhere will be able to engage with science while the State of Ohio continues to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. During the first three days of the festival, participants can celebrate science by attending events online. On May 9, instead of coming together for the Big Science Celebration, participants can connect virtually with at-home science activities and share their experiences via social media.

“The inaugural 2019 COSI Science Festival was an overwhelming success, and we were excited about bringing an expanded festival to Central Ohio in 2020. However, due to COVID-19, we were forced to cancel all onsite activities for this year's Science Festival. This has given COSI the opportunity to work with our festival partners and leverage our COSI Connects web based portal to create new digital opportunities so that people can engage with science in a meaningful way from the comfort of their homes,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President and CEO of COSI. “We want everyone to enjoy this year's digital experience and we look forward to the 2021 COSI Science Festival and the opportunity to engage, inspire and transform even more lives in person.”

  • May 6 - Join young scientist Te’Lario Watkins as he reads from his book "Te'Lario's Amazing Mushroom Farm."
  • May 7 - What’s an axolotl? (pronounced ak·suh·laa·tl) You will find out and get to see them eat their lunch!
  • May 8 - Learn how to make your own reusable bag out of an old t-shirt with Green Bexley. Find more online events at https://cosiscifest.org/events-2020/
  • May 9 - Big "At Home" Science Celebration – Grab some marshmallows and maybe some baking soda and celebrate science at home from 11am – 5pm by doing your own at home science experiments and sharing them on social media with #COSISciFest so we can all celebrate together. Get inspiration at cosiscifest.org/bsc

COSI will also be hosting a BioBlitz as part of the COSI Science Festival May 6-9. This event is virtual, so people will be able to follow Ohio’s social distancing guidelines while they enjoy the event. Ohioans simply need to download the free iNaturalist app (or use the website www.inaturalist.org) and step outside to take a photo of a living thing they see in nature and then submit their observations on iNaturalist, making sure to record the time and location of the photo.

More than 40,000 people were impacted by the inaugural 2019 COSI Science Festival. Among the largest science events in Ohio history, the COSI Science Festival included over 100 free, interactive events at Central Ohio businesses, community centers, libraries, and schools during its first three days. The Festival concluded with the day-long Big Science Celebration outside of COSI on the Scioto Peninsula and featured more than 100 STEM exhibitors with hands-on activities.

Last year, as part of an unprecedented partnership between COSI and NASA, representatives from NASA’s research centers around the country brought hands-on activities highlighting their work to the Big Science Celebration and hosted a special exhibition in COSI’s Atrium. COTA served as the "Official Ride Partner" offering free transportation to and from the Big Science Celebration.

Six new cities announced they would partner with COSI for the 2020 COSI Science Festival, expanding the Festival beyond Franklin County. The new partner cities are; Circleville, London, Marysville, Delaware, Pickerington, and Heath and they join 2019 partner cities and neighborhoods; Bexley, Columbus, Dublin, Franklinton, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove City, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, and Worthington.

For more information on the COSI Science Festival visit cosiscifest.org.

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About the Author

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds is the Director of Communications for COSI. She has worked in communications and PR for more than 16 years. She has worked as a TV news producer in cable news and as a public information officer and communications specialist in state government.