Science & Innovation Scavenger Hunt:
Boulder has lots to offer for a teen like me. This blog is a hunt for some of the popular science and innovation hubs in town that offer great activities for teens and children. I wrote this blog because many parents and families around Boulder don’t know just how many fun, exciting places there are to learn and explore. Curiosity drives learning, and when a kid is curious, they want to learn. I have been curious about Boulder’s science, technology, and innovation offerings due to the array of knowledge you can learn from them. It’s not just history or art – but it’s problem solving, innovation, and real world skills (just like The Hopper strives to provide when it opens its doors in late 2020). The featured hubs in this blog have been passionate about teaching youth science, astronomy, discovery, and meteorology for many years.
The planetarium has many shows about astronomy and astrophysics, along with other fun laser shows featuring music from artists such as Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones. The astronomy and astrophysics shows are delivered in a cartoon format with simplistic language so children of all ages can understand and learn. This immersive experience is shown in a theater-like environment only the screen is a half circle on the ceiling! This planetarium grabbed my attention because of its unique way of teaching about astronomy; its map of the stars seen on this screen makes it look like the night sky, along with occasional laser shows at night.
NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) has lots of hands-on exhibits in their museum part of the building along with classes and events on the other side. Not only does this building have an amazing view, but it also has a hiking trail right behind the building for people to hike up and enjoy the view of Boulder proper along with the amazing Flatirons. After a big day of learning about typical weather patterns, clouds, and our atmosphere you can hike up a trail and show of your learning to other hikers or family members. I love NCAR because of its museum exhibits that show different weather patterns and how they’re caused. They even have a tornado maker in the museum!
CU Science Discovery is all about teaching science, technology, and innovation to children of all ages. They have camps, classes, and events for everyone, teaching you about anything from how to use Vex robotics to how to make a chemical reaction. Binding the connection between fun and learning, CU created this branch of science and discovery to show young students that science and technology, when used together, always create good. I enjoy learning here because all of the staff are passionate about teaching youth, and there is lots of time and effort spent to make sure that everything is set up for the perfect learning experience.
In the Museum of Boulder you can learn so much from their many collections of photos and over 45,000 artifacts dating back to the 1920s. They have exhibits on the history of Boulder and a place for kids to burn some energy called the Interactive Children’s Museum. I have found interest in this museum because of the collection of artifacts that are all related to different things from different times with different purposes. They really have something for everyone here.
The SSI is a place for interactive learning for all ages. This institute has learning opportunities in the form of events and classes. You can learn all about space and why it is the way it is. If you are interested in pursuing a career in astronomy, this is the place to start. The SSI is focused on teaching kids about astronomy while also inspiring them to further educate themselves about astronomy and to possibly find a future in astronomy.
Amazing isn’t it, how many fun science places are in Boulder. Some of these places have more than just the physical building; some have camps, some have classes, and some are discovering new information about amazing things right this minute. I hope this blog helped you find a new fun place to visit with your family in Boulder!