UCAR Center for Science Education

Super Science Saturday attracts family-fun-loving crowd

November 9, 2016 | About 1,000 people – including the usual throngs of excited children – attended Super Science Saturday at the Mesa Lab last weekend.

"It was a great crowd, but not overly crowded," said Eileen Carpenter of the UCAR Center for Science Education, of the free, annual event.

The NCAR Wizards shows were popular, as were the NCAR 3D visualization laboratory's demonstrations. "The Vaisala weather balloon launch also was a big favorite, and the pingpong bounce was spectacular," Carpenter added.

Free family fun at Super Science Saturday: Nov. 5

BOULDER, Colo. — Come learn about our changing climate at this year’s Super Science Saturday on Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab in south Boulder.This year’s theme coincides with a major new climate exhibit at the Mesa Lab. Climate-related activities will include a presentation on ozone's effect on plants, a tree-ring activity demonstrating the living record of climate, a "flubber" glacier display by Boulder-based UNAVCO, and shows by NCAR Wizards that focus on changing temperatures.Astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett, author of the climate books "The Wizard that Saved the World" and "I, Humanity," will share his stories.In addition, a number of other fun activities and experiments are on tap, including weather balloon launches, modular robotics, the CBS Denver Channel 4 mobile weather lab, Colorado State University's Little Shop of Physics, and more.Modular robotics was just one of the many activities at the 2015 Super Science Saturday. This year's event features hands-on climate and weather activities. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)"This year we wanted to highlight climate to reflect the outstanding updated interactive exhibit at our Mesa Lab," said Eileen Carpenter of the UCAR Center for Science Education. "But we also have our traditionally popular activities for children and entire families to enjoy as well." UCAR is the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which provides education and research services and manages NCAR under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.The multimedia climate displays on the second floor constitute what is believed to be the region’s largest permanent exhibit dedicated to climate change. One popular interactive exhibit, "Choose our Future," enables visitors to see how the choices they make, such as the type of car they drive, affect future temperatures. The information panels, touchscreens, audio recordings, and other activities highlight how our climate system works and the potential impacts of a changing climate on society and the environment.Activities at Super Science Saturday also will include learning about air movement by making devices to test in a wind tunnel, creating projects with solar-sensitive beads, face painting, and a pingpong ball launch.NCAR's High Altitude Observatory will display a solar telescope and provide information about the 2017 solar eclipse, and the NCAR 3D visualization laboratory will demonstrate some of its scientific animations.In addition to the Mesa Lab's science exhibits, a new tactile art exhibit will be open all day.  Snacks and lunch items will be available for purchase in the cafeteria.DETAILS:What: Super Science SaturdayWhen: Saturday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Where: NCAR’s Mesa Lab, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, BoulderWho:  Activities for the entire family, with events especially focused on children ages 6 to 12.Cost:  FreeMore information: 2016 Super Science SaturdayWriter:Jeff Smith, Science Writer and Public Information Officer 

Come Join the Fun! Volunteer for Super Science Saturday! November 5

Join the UCAR Center for Science Education (SciEd) for our Spectacular Super Science Saturday Event on Nov. 5! This year's theme is "Our Changing Climate".

Come Join the Fun! Volunteer for Super Science Saturday! November 5, 2016

Join the UCAR Center for Science Education (SciEd) for our Spectacular Super Science Saturday Event! Mark your calendar for November 5th and come help us with this fun annual event.

Super Science Saturday is NCAR's largest public event and is designed to increase public science literacy by bringing kids and adults together to explore hands-on activities, think about new ideas, learn about science, and highlight the exciting scientific research happening in Boulder and the surrounding communities!

This year's theme is "Our Changing Climate".

Boosting diversity in Earth system science

July 7, 2016 | SOARS is soaring into its third decade, achieving results and collecting accolades along the way.The research and mentoring program recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a two-day symposium that focused on how the program can leverage its alumni network to build a more diverse geoscience workforce. A reception at the Mesa Lab that kicked off the symposium drew a crowd of protégés, alumni, and alumni directors. A program of the UCAR Center for Science Education, SOARS stands for Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science."SOARS has helped cultivate a new generation of leaders in geosciences," said SOARS Director Rebecca Haacker, "and there's opportunity to do even more."The cornerstone of the year-round SOARS Program is an 11-week summer research internship at NCAR or at other participating laboratories.SOARS protégé Briah' Davis of University at Albany, SUNY, working with instruments with mentor Teresa Campos, an NCAR project scientist. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)Each protégé has a support system that includes research mentors, a writing mentor, a computing mentor, a coach who helps the student navigate unfamiliar territory and stressful situations, and peer mentors. The internships can run up to four years, bridging the leap from undergraduate to graduate school, and many have taken advantage of multiple-year opportunities.Follow-up surveys show that more than 80 percent of the now 180-plus SOARS alumni have either gone on to graduate school or to science- or math-related careers. More than 115 have earned a master's degree in science or engineering, 36 have earned Ph.D.s, and 38 are on track to earn a graduate degree.In 2001, just five years out of the gate, the program won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.UCAR president emeritus Richard Anthes has said that SOARS was one of the proudest accomplishments of his tenure. This year, Shay Gilpin, a mathematics student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, became the first recipient of a new SOARS fellowship named in honor of Anthes by Bill Kuo, who directs the UCAR Community Programs.Steven Naegele, who has a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science and physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is now a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, has been a SOARS protégé since 2014. He said the program has been invaluable.SOARS protégé Steven Naegele (seated, middle) with NCAR research mentors in 2014 (left to right) Sarah Tessendorf, Greg Thompson and Trude Eidhammer. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)"It has not only reinforced my love of meteorology and dream of becoming a research scientist, but it has also pushed me to be a great leader, communicator, and friend," he said. Naegele said he especially has appreciated the opportunity to work with top atmospheric scientists who have had an impact on society. His projects at NCAR have included researching Northeast winter storms.SOARS alumna Melissa Burt said she was struggling and thinking of changing her academic major as an undergraduate meteorology student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Then her advisor suggested that she check out the SOARS program "It had a huge impact on my career," Burt, a 2005 SOARS protégé, says today. "It gave me a sense of community. I'm not sure I would have gone on to complete my Ph.D. if it hadn't been for the support of the SOARS community — friends, scientists, and mentors."Burt not only went on to receive a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Colorado State University, but she has brought a SOARS-like approach to her job as Education and Diversity manager at CSU's Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP). Under CMMAP, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, students from under-represented groups work on cutting-edge science and field campaigns with university faculty mentors and are provided early exposure to leadership training. Since the program started a decade ago, minority enrollment at CSU's Department of Atmospheric Science has more than quadrupled from 3.5 percent to 16 percent.Looking ahead to the next decade, Haacker said her goals include developing SOARS satellite programs similar to the one Burt has fostered at CSU, and strengthening the SOARS alumni network."We want to expand the SOARS model, as well as share more of what happens to protégés after they leave the SOARS program," Haacker said. "Their stories are inspiring to all of us."This article originally appeared in NCAR|UCAR Staff News.Jeff Smith, Science Writer and Public information Officer 

Boosting diversity in Earth system science

July 7, 2016 | SOARS is soaring into its third decade, achieving results and collecting accolades along the way.

Retirement Celebration for Cindy Schmidt

Break out your sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts and join us for ice cream and fun to celebrate Cindy Schmidt’s retirement after 26 years of service to UCAR! Everyone is welcome Tuesday, July 12th, on the Center Green Patio from 3pm – 6pm.

Matt Kelsch to Discuss The Boulder 2013 Flood, Climate, and Resiliency Planning

COMET hydrologist Matt Kelsch will discuss The Boulder 2013 Flood, Climate, and Resiliency Planning at 3:30pm. We hope that you will be joining us via UCARLive at http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Panel Discussion on Attribution, Extremes, and Resilence

Panel discussion entitled Attribution, Extremes, and Resilience. Join us online at http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live at 2:15pm. The presentation will also be archived on UCARConnect on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NCARUCARConnectPresenters will be:

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