Posted by: COSI | October 28, 2011

Fantastic Demo Defying Logic

We recently returned from our international science center conference where one of the features is an exhibit hall of activities, exhibits, programs that can be purchased or rented for use in science centers around the world.  One booth had an incredible demo that caught the attention of even seasoned science educators like myself.

You’ve got to check this one out—I can’t describe it as you would think I was lying.  The video clip you are going to see has already registered well over 5 million hits, so I must not be the only one intrigued by this.

Of course, as a science educator, I want to understand how this phenomena which defies all my lifelong experience with the world around me, works.  Use the following website to get a quick explanation.

www.quantumlevitation.com/levitation/The_physics.html

This is why often at COSI I hear that our hallway cart experiences with an engaging member of our floor faculty can be just as intriguing and memorable to our guests as our big exhibition experiences.

And by the way, that international Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) conference for upward to 2000 professionals from around the world will be hosted by COSI in Columbus next October—that’s cool too—maybe just not supercooled 😉

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Posted by: COSI | October 17, 2011

The World Is Coming To Columbus

We have a team here at the annual international Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) conference in Baltimore. This is THE international gathering  of science centers from around the world.

Image of agenda at ASTC 2011

ASTC 2011, Baltimore, MD

We had the COSI team up on stage at the opening session inviting everyone to join us in Columbus next year. Having COSI getting more and more international attention for some of our innovative partnerships with The Ohio State University and others, there is an anticipation among our colleagues to visit COSI and Columbus.

It was interesting to me to hear the surprise from so many colleagues when I hyped Columbus as an up and coming city–the 15th largest city in the U.S.

Looking forward to sharing COSI and Columbus with our colleagues from the 42 countries represented among ASTC members!

Jeremy, our COSI web master, feels that Thursday  should have been a national day of mourning with the passing of Steve Jobs—I agree.  But maybe for a different reason.

iPhone 4

iPhone 4 courtesy of Wikipedia

As I’ve noted in my blog before, I “grew up” professionally with Apple Computer, serving in various consultant capacities for and with Apple Computer.  I have a great affinity for the company and the genius of the two Steve’s who founded it—Wozniak and Jobs.  So even though it was clear that this day would be coming sooner than we wanted, having Steve Jobs pass away is something I’m feeling very personally.

But I’m worried about his loss in a much bigger way.

I’ve had the privilege of telling John Glenn personally how his flight almost 50 years ago in the Mercury capsule was incredibly inspiring to me.  He and his contemporary astronauts and the engineers and scientists enabling their work lit the fire in me and sustained my interest in science and technology.

My one son-in-law has shared that his inspiration to pursue science and engineering and a career as a Navy pilot came in part by the examples and efforts of our shuttle astronauts. 

Steve Jobs was not only an inspiration to many people in a personal way, but he created a company that was uniquely inspiring in its products, and even its core essence.  Millions of people, like myself, have been faithful to Apple through thick and thin because of the inspirational aspirations of Apple to make a difference in our lives.

Apple II

Apple II courtesy of Wikipedia

Jobs had a confidence bordering on arrogance, that served him, and us well, when combined with a unique combination of vision, skill and talents that created whole new conceptual applications of technology.  He didn’t design to focus groups, he designed to the future and then helped the rest of us see that future that was easier, more powerful, more systemic, and even sexy in its design elegance.

So Jobs, interestingly, was inspiring not just personally but through the products and systems created by Apple.  I know of no other corporate leader currently able to match that ability to inspire our public.  And in my concern, our youth.

As the shuttle’s are decommissioned, as the John Glenn’s are not matched in our modern era, and as we lose Steve Jobs, we are losing more and more singular individuals and endeavors that broadly inspire youth to pursue math, science, and technology.  Places like COSI leverage those inspirations and add our own, more modest ones.  With Jobs passing we’ve lost an important arrow in our inspiration quiver.

Steve, you will be missed in so many ways.

Posted by: COSI | September 26, 2011

World’s Fastest Electric Vehicle @ COSI

Most people think of golf carts still when you mention electric transportation.  How about an electric car that exceeds 300 mph!

Buckeye Bullet at COSI

Buckeye Bullet at COSI

The OSU Buckeye Bullet holds the world’s record of fastest electric car.  I’ve heard about it, was just talking with one of the partner companies this week, and lo and behold there was the Bullet out in front of COSI.

Janet Adams,the photographer for Columbus Business First was shooting the photos for the journal’s Fast 50 Event on October 12.  What better local symbol of fast than the Buckeye Bullet and what better location to shoot it and awardees than at COSI!  (Thanks Janet!)

So there I was stumbling on to the shooting and having my first look at that special electric car.

Being the geek and former engineering student, I had a great time talking “techie” with the prof and the students who lead the design and fabrication team—on their spare time!

Gosh I love my job!

Posted by: COSI | September 19, 2011

Parallel World @COSI

Green Vehicles On Display Outside COSI

Green Vehicles On Display Outside COSI

I find myself correcting folks a lot when they say. “You’re closed Monday and Tuesday at COSI, right?”

The answer is, yes, to the public (unless school is out, then we’re always open).  But I then share how more and more organizations are using us for meetings, conferences, etc. during the days when we don’t have public in the building (although we are still hosting our Metro School classes, OSU labs, and other partner activities every weekday).

In fact, last year the community held over 275 meetings and events at COSI.

The first clue that we were hosting something special today, on a Monday when we are closed to the public, were all the vehicles out front sporting labels attributing their energy source to electric, biofuels, compressed natural gas and such.  Having CleanFuelsOhio host their Green Fleet event at COSI makes all the sense in the world—especially after we just opened our Innovations in Energy Showcase.

Just another “quiet” day at COSI 😉

Posted by: COSI | September 1, 2011

Bye-Bye Dinos!

Had a sweet moment this morning when my 2-1/2 year old granddaughter “had to come to COSI!” to say bye-bye to the dinosaurs.  So she enjoyed them one last time then went dino to dino to wave goodbye.  Amazes me how even the youngest become so conscious of what is taking place at COSI and the need to be part of our experiences.

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