The sixth annual Nebraska Science Festival - presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center and scheduled for April 19-28 - is around the corner. And, with a multitude of science- and technology-related activities in communities across the state, it’s not too early to plan your SciFest schedule.
With more than 100+ SciFest activities, there is something for every age and interest. See how a newspaper press works, create do-it-yourself bottle rockets, visit libraries for a variety of STEM activities, track a weather balloon, sample fermented foods and beverages, learn about adaptive technology, and discover a STEM career. You’ll find the entire festival schedule (with details and registration links) on www.nescifest.com. Here are a few activities of interest in the Omaha-metro area:
Mushroom Cultivation Workshop - April 19, 6-8 p.m.
Instructor Andy Watke will teach you how to cultivate mushrooms at home in this interactive demonstration at City Sprouts South, 1815 N Street, Omaha. Free.
The Science of Ice - April 19, 7 p.m.
Join the team at Mercury (329 S. 16 St., #3, Omaha) for snacks, drinks and a show during "The Science of Ice." Mercury houses a variety ice machines as well as the Clinebell which makes sculptors ice. Get ready as they break out the chainsaw and get everyone in the first three rows wet, talk about how ice impacts cocktails, and how ice is so vital to how our ecosystem and effects how all weather progresses. Cost: $20 for 21 and over. During SciFest only, Mercury will have a signature festival cocktail - the "Category Five" - featuring its private barrel 120 proof bourbon.
Adaptive Technology for the Visually-Impaired - April 20, 9 a.m. to noon
Members with vision loss or blindness can test cutting-edge adaptive technologies and consult with a trainer from Outlook Nebraska. Free at Do Space, 7205 Dodge St., Omaha.
Lauritzen Gardens - April 21 and 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Equal parts artistic and educational, the "Metamorphosis: From Reclaimed Plastics to Works of Art" exhibit features fine art, accompanied by a message of environmental stewardship and will change the way that you see plastic. Artists Sayaka Ganz and Aurora Robson created amazing art inspired by nature and built from reclaimed materials. Adults $10; children ages 6-12 $5. Free admission for one child age 12 and under with every paid adult admission - just mention Nebraska SciFest at the front desk to get the special rate.
Fontenelle Forest - April 22, 2 p.m.
At Fontenelle Forest, photographer Alex Wiles will discuss his photography project "Floodplain: A Clear View of Life in the Big Muddy," where he photographed the flora and fauna that live in and near the Missouri River. He will talk about the species he photographed and his process for making such stunning images. Regular admission.
Science of Beer: Tour and tasting of fermented foods and beverages - April 22, 4 p.m.
The team at Farnam House Brewing Company will discuss all things beer - from how it's made and everything in-between - while tasting a variety of brews and food. Tours of the facility are included as well. This event is for science and beer lovers 21 and older. Cost: $20 (pay at the venue).
Cultivating a Pollinator Habitat - April 23, 6:30 p.m.
Pollinator health has dominated the airwaves for the past five years. You’ve probably heard about honeybee populations crashing. But did you know that the honeybee is not native to North America? What about our native pollinators? What can you do to be a part of the solution? Join Nebraska Extension Horticulturist Scott Evans at the Joslyn Castle as he walks you through how you can be a part of the solution with improving pollinator health in your own backyard. Donations accepted at the door. Free.
Balloon Launch - April 24, 8 to 10 a.m.
Join us at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, 1616 S. 120th St., for the Omaha Public Schools weather balloon launch. Seventh- and eighth-grade experiments will be taken up with the balloons. If weather is bad, the event will be cancelled. Free.
Women in Science: Panel discussion on STEM careers - April 24, 6 p.m. (NOTE: MORE DETAILS WILL BE INCLUDED IN A SEPARATE NEWS RELEASE ON THIS EVENT)
Attend a free panel discussion featuring women successful in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Location: Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus.
Adult Sex Ed - April 25, 6 to 8 p.m.
Join Planned Parenthood of the Heartland as they present an informal panel of sexual health experts who will answer your verbal or written adult sex ed questions at OutrSpaces, 1258 S. 13th St., Omaha. Panelist specialties range from medicine, sexuality research, sex education, and social work. Free and geared toward ages 21 and over.
Druid Hill Science and Literacy Night - April 26, 5 to 6 p.m.
The public will enjoy science-themed books, experiments and hands-on booths during Druid Hill's Science and Literacy Night at 4020 N. 30th St., Omaha. Free.
Lunch and Learn with Dr. Leigh Turner - April 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures will host a free lunch and learn with Leigh Turner, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics, School of Public Health, and College of Pharmacy, titled: "The U.S. Direct-to Consumer Marketplace for Unproven Stem Cell Interventions: Ethical, Scientific, and Legal Concerns." Location: University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St., Omaha. Tickets are free but can be reserved via the SciFest website.
Midnight Movies: RoboCop, April 27, 11:55 p.m. to 1:55 a.m.
Film Streams’ Dundee Theater will kick off its Dundee Midnights with "RoboCop," one of Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven’s trilogy of sci-fi movies between 1987 and 1997. It was the filmmaker’s second English language feature.
Public Science Expo - April 28, 9 a.m. to noon
Visit The Durham Museum (801 S. 10th St., Omaha) and participate in fun and engaging hands-on learning opportunities. A wide variety of booths will promote science and its impact in our everyday lives. In addition, the Omaha Children's Museum will perform, "Grossology" at 10:30 a.m. Check the website, www.nescifest.com, for a list of participating booths and to download the free expo ticket (The Durham Museum).
NE SciFest at KANEKO - April 28, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
KANEKO will host a free hands-on activity and offer assistance with the iNaturalist app. Enter through the KANEKO-UNO Library entrance on 12th St. (west side of the building) for an afternoon of science fun. For more information about the iNaturalist app assistance, visit omahazoo.com/citynaturechallenge.
Presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Science Festival is a collaboration of organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of science literacy. In addition to UNMC, other sponsors, to date, are the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, Metro Credit Union, NEST 529 College Savings, Metropolitan Community College and media sponsors KETV and the Omaha World-Herald.
In addition to NeSciFest.com, you will find SciFest updates and information on Twitter (@NESciFest) and Facebook (NE SciFest).