Nebraska Science Festival fun for all ages


By Nicholas Sauma, Reporter

Many students may say Bill Nye the Science Guy was their first science teacher, even if it was just a television show. Now, he’s coming to Omaha to help a new generation of children-and adults-get excited about science.
The first Nebraska Science Festival will kickoff on April 12 at the Joslyn Museum with a presentation by Nye. Nye’s show is sold out, but the week-long festival has plenty of other events open.
Twelve venues will offer science-related activities. Venues include Film Streams, Fontenelle Forest, Lauritzen Gardens, Metropolitan Community College, Henry Doorly Zoo, Hot Shops Art Center, UNMC College of Dentistry, SAC Museum, City Sprouts Garden and The Durham Museum.
An additional event at The French Bulldog for those 21 and older requires an RSVP and $5 cover charge.  
Events at Film Streams and Henry Doorly Zoo will charge regular admission fees, but following and remaining events are free.
“These events are open to the public for the most part, but we’d prefer people had tickets,” said Kacie Gerard, a board member for the festival. “That way we can get a count on how many people attended, and there’s no worry about getting in free and getting some of the free perks.”
UNO physics student Matthew Judah hadn’t heard about the festival.
“That sounds awesome,” Judah said, “I wish I could still see Bill Nye, but I think it’s a great idea to make science a part of the community.”
Community members apparently agreed. Board members sent letters about the event to nearly 70 organizations. Then sat down and talked to each one to form a schedule for the weekend event.
“They had their own ideas and offers ready,” Gerard said. “Everybody was very prepared to be a part of the event and to contribute uniquely.”
Many of the weekend’s events are at popular places around town, and with events scattered around time, there should be a little something for everybody. There are also topics for just about anybody, adults and children alike, from food to horticulture.
“We hope to get great turnout for this first year,” Gerard said. “Then we would like to see this expand to Lincoln, Kearney and around the state and become a truly statewide science festival every year.”