Posted by: COSI | December 8, 2010

A Woodstock for Science: Part II

A blog post in three parts highlighting COSI’s participation in the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, held in Washington, D.C., on October, 23-24, 2010.

Post by Doug Buchanan, Guest Blogger
COSI Education Programs Marketing Manager

Early on the morning of Thursday, October 21, 2010, my colleague Kevin Seymour pulled up into our driveway in the giant COSI Sprinter – loaded down with our Science Spot hands-on kiosks, slime-making supplies, water, snacks, luggage, cameras, computers, and everything else we’d need for our five-day trip.

D.C. Bound: Kevin at the wheel of the COSI Sprinter.

Along the way to Washington for the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, I’d learn all about keeping a driver’s log (required for trucks) and how to pull into a weigh station, something I’d never done before.

Our perfect weather held and we arrived at mid-afternoon after an eight-hour drive (no more complaints about Columbus traffic after seeing D.C.’s gridlocked-at-3:30pm-highways). I’m not sure what Washingtonians thought about the slow van with Ohio plates letting drivers in ahead of it and stopping for pedestrians, but they seemed to tolerate us Midwesterners in their midst.

By noon on Friday, we’d been able to drive the Sprinter right onto the Mall and unload next to our tents, a huge windfall given the weight and bulkiness of our kiosks. COSI’s Science Spots – colorful hands-on kiosks we typically took to outdoor fairs and festivals in and around Columbus – were perfect for this kind of public event.

We made it: Doug and the COSI Sprinter, with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

We’d brought four Science Spots with a total of six different activities, plus a station where guests could mix up their own version of “COSI Slime,” a bright green non-Newtonian fluid that has laxative effects if eaten (not recommended).

Load-in was easy, which left us time to explore the amazing National Air & Space Museum and to tour the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress. With our equipment delivered, all we could do was wait for Saturday morning and the start of the Festival.

Coming tomorrow: The big (dusty) day.

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