Skip to Main Content


 Engineering and Science Festival banner

FREE Admission

Come and go anytime between 9am-4pm, we suggest you come early to get the best of the Engineering & Science Festival

Engineering & Science Festival is a FREE event for all ages with a wide variety of engaging activities designed for K-12 students and their family.

Online registration for participants

Free one-day bus passes will be available for this event.  Call 258-2702 or email to request bus pass(es). (These passes are good for fixed-line bus service in Boise.) Passes will be available starting Monday, January 16th and the last day to request bus passes is Tuesday, January 31st  Passes will be mailed to requestors.  Please indicate the number of passes needed – adult and student (ages 6-18). Children under age 6 ride for free.”

  • Engineering & Science Festival flyer  (TBA)
  • Activities Map (TBA)
    Current Activities are tentative and may change.
    Activity locations (SUB, ENGR, MEC, HML, KIN, ERB )
  • Locations Map (TBA)


  • FOOD is not provided.  Bring a sack lunch or plan on visiting the Student Union Building, or Broadway vendors for refreshments.
  • No registration required to attend the Engineering and Science Festival, but some scheduled activities require that you sign up at the activity location.
  • With more than 40 activities it’s impossible to do everything.
  • Please see the list of activities and plan your day in advance.
  • Four ways to participate:  Scheduled Activities (S); Drop-in (D), Open Demonstrations (O); Interactive Science Shows (I)

Scheduled Activities (S)

Scheduled activities have limited capacity and may require sign up to attend for specific times.  Come early to get signed up – sign up sheets at the activity location.   If you sign up, be there 5 minutes in advance to participate.  If you are not there you forfeit your spot.  Scheduled activities include:

  • NEW Make & Fly a Tumblewing, Rich Stowell, Master Flight Instructor – Ages 10-Adult. Capacity 40 (50 minutes: 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm) Barnwell Room  Cows, basketballs, and phone books can fly! Learn what’s needed to generate Lift and about the Magnus Effect. Go through the engineering process from concept to tumblewing. Then become a pilot as you learn how to fly it.
  • Build and Eat an Edible Aquifer, SUEZ and Department of Environmental Quality – Ages 5-14, Room 215, Capacity 30 (45 minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) . Learn how ground water is stored in aquifers, how what we do can affect our groundwater and drinking water, and how good engineering helps keep our water clean.
  • How to Use Your PC / Laptop to Learn about Materials, Boise State Materials Science and Engineering – Ages 10-Adult, TBA (45 minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm 3pm)
  • Extreme Weather Science, NOAA/National Weather Service – Ages 8-Adult, Room 313, Capacity 30, (45 minutes: 9:30, 10:30,11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00)  – Meteorologists will discuss the science of extreme weather in the context of a “Weather Jeopardy” game. Two teams will compete to be the Weather Jeopardy Champions and various scientific weather demonstrations will be conducted during the course of the game. In addition, weather safety information will be provided in a fun and interactive way.
  • Jelly Bean Binary, Micron Foundation – Ages 5-10, Room 335, Capacity 25, (30 minutes: 9am, 9:45 am, 10:30am, 11:15am, 12noon, 1pm, 1:45 pm, 2:30pm, 3:15pm) Learn the language of computers. Learn how the computer uses binary code and how to encode and decode with it. Then, using “1s”, “0s”, and jelly beans you will be able to write your name in binary code.
  • Tie Dye Chromatography, Micron Foundation – Ages 5-14, Room 106, Capacity 50 (45 minutes: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) Use permanent markers to experiment with the concepts related to chromatography and color separation.
  • Snap Circuits, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boise State University – Ages 10-Adult, Room 307, Capacity 30 (45 Minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm)
  • Taming the Dragon: Explore the aerodynamics of a dragon on a wall-sized display using supercomputers. Hands-on! All Ages, Room 408, Capacity 25 (20 minutes: 10am, 1pm)
  • 20K Ultra Resolution: Explore famous art and places around the world in incredible detail on a wall sized display. All Ages, Room 408, Capacity 25 (20 minutes: 11am, 2pm)
  • Exploring Explosive Eruptions with the Liquid Nitrogen Volcano Experiment, Boise State Geosciences, All Ages, Outside behind ERB, (20 minutes: 10am, 11:30am,1pm, 2:30pm)

Drop-in (D)

These activities run throughout the day, and you can drop in any time.  Supplies are limited, first come first serve.  These include:

  • STEMbusUSA – All Ages  – Enjoy a mobile discovery experience ranging from biotech to video game programming to robotic and even electronics and circuitry! Parked Outside the SUB (East side)
  • Throw it! Blow it! Bow it! The Science of Ancient Projectiles, Boise State Anthropology – (10am-3pm) Farnsworth Room
  • Where’s Your Head At? Pull-apart skulls show you how it all fits together, Boise State Anthropology – Farnsworth Room
  • NEW Build a BristleBot, The ReuseumLimited Supplies: Ages 5-14, Bergquist Lounge – Make and take home your own miniature robot
  • Earthquake Table/ Hovercraft, Treasure Valley Math and Science Center – Ages 5-14, Trueblood Room
  • Idaho State Police Distracted/Impaired Driving Simulator, Idaho State Police – Ages 14-AdultLive demonstration with a computer based driving simulator. See how driving distracted or impaired affects your driving. Ah Fong Room
  • NEW Technical Communication at Boise State – Ages 14-18 – Alexander Room
  • Jenga Jedi, AECOM – Ages 6-Adult, Boyington Room
  • Pollution, Plates, and Pretty Rocks, Boise State Geoscience Club – All Ages, Brink Room 
  • An Introduction to Computer Science Using Scratch, Idaho Technology CouncilAges: 8 and up, younger (6+) with Adult assistance, Room 111, Capacity 25
  • Beyond the Looking Glass: Seeing at the Nanoscale, Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Ages 5-Adult, Room 104
  • See a 3D Printer in Action, Boise State College of Engineering – All Ages, Room 106
  • Bugs Under a Microscope! Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Ages 8-Adult, Room 108
  • Explore Infrared (IR) using two IR cameras, and email yourself an IR image, Energy for Society at Boise State – All Ages, Room 225
  • Programming with Blockly, Boise State ACM-W – Ages 8-Adult, Room 238
  • NEW Sustainable Energy and Materials, Boise State Materials Science & Engr – Ages 14-Adult, Room 314
  • Build a Bridge using West Point Bridge Design Software, Boise State Civil Engineering Club – Ages 8-Adult, Room 103, Capacity 25 Design a bridge utilizing software, and test to see if it would succeed or fail. Participants can review the components of their bridge to make modifications and improvements.
  • Catapult Launch, Boise State Engineering Residential College – Ages 5-14, Room 114, 30 minutes Design and build a catapult using spoons, popsicle sticks, and tape. Test your design on a tower of cups!
  • CircuitScribe Valentine Cards, IEEE Student Organization – Ages 5-14, Room 309, Capacity 30
  • Browse and Explore 100 Megapixel 3D Imagery on High-Resolution Displays, Boise State Computer Science Graphics and Visualization Lab – All Ages, Room 402, Capacity 20 (30 minutes: 10am, 11am, and 1pm) – Visitors can visit Yellowstone, BSU, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt from the comfort of the laboratory.
  • Fantastic Fire! University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, McCall Outdoor Science School – Ages 5-15
  • Experiments Explaining Volcanic Processes, Boise State Geosciences, Lobby, All Ages
  • 3D Visualizations, Boise State Geosciences, Room 4110, Ages 8-Adult, 9am-11am
  • Water Resources Lab, Boise State Civil Engineering, Room 3108, Ages 14-Adult
  • Snow Plow Simulator, Idaho Transportation DepartmentOutside in the parking lot (weather permitting) – Experience a super-charged video arcade game!

Open Demonstrations (O)

These demonstrations are great for when you are waiting for a scheduled activity.  These are mostly located in the Kinesiology Building, Student Union Building, and the Civil Engineering Building.  You will also find several in the ENGR and MEC lobby’s, and open research laboratories appropriate for high school students and adults.

  • Treasure Valley Photo Booth – Get your photo taken with fun science and engineering props!!
  • NEW Verizon Wireless Demonstrations
  • Radio Demonstration, HP Amateur Radio Club It’s not your father’s Amateur Radio! We cover the world and even space with voice, data and images…. Learn how much you depend on radio and may not even know it.  At the top of each hour participate in hands on experiments that illustrate the magic of how radio works.
  • Robots and Land Rovers, The Boise Robotics Group (BoRG) Learn how the BoRG makes and programs their robots and how you can do the same.
  • High Altitude Balloons, NearSysWhat can you do with $150 worth of balloon and helium? You can send experiments into near space!  While conducting experiments in atmospheric and cosmic ray studies, remote sensing of the Earth’s surface, radio wave propagation, and astronomical and technological evaluations, we discover more about the world around us.   Near space is the poorman’s space program. See how missions are performed and how students can do experiments in this close analog to outer space.
  • Seatbelt Demonstration, Federal Highway Administration Live demonstration that will help Idahoans make better Snap Decisions about whether to wear or not wear a seatbelt.
  • Your Brain on Language, Linguistics Lab at Boise State University
  • 15,000 Volt Demonstration, Idaho PowerDesigned to illustrate the properties of electricity. The demonstration will prove the theory that electricity always seeks the quickest path to earth.
  • What’s a Watt? Idaho PowerRide a bicycle that generates power. Feel the energy that powers a light bulb, a computer, and a television.
  • Making Waves with LIGO, LIGO Hanford ObservatoryExploring gravitational waves and more with LIGO.
  • Robots, Structures & Other Thrills! PCS EdventuresLab – Where your talent and passions intersect
  • Science is Fun! Idaho National Laboratory
  • NEW Printing Up Close and Personal, Hewlett Packard
  • NEW Virtual Reality with the Space Broncos, Boise State Space Broncos – Experience a virtual reality environment using a gaming engine called Unreal Engine.
  • Future City and MATHCOUNTS, Idaho Society of Professional Engineers – Learn about competitions for 6th-8th graders
  • Adaptation Exploration, Intermountain Bird Observatory
  • Microgravity
  • Physics and Astronomy Demonstrations, Boise State Physics Club
  • Chemistry is Chool, Boise State Chemistry
  • Amazing Math, Boise State Mathematics
  • NEW Collegiate Wind Competition Team, CAES Energy Efficiency Research Institute
  • NEW Geothermal Exhibit, Boise City Public WorksAges 8-Adult – Check out this hands-on geothermal exhibit.
  • NEW Science Trek, Idaho Public Television – Do you have questions about the ocean, forces and motion or other science topics? Science Trek lets you ask scientists about what you want to know.  You might even be on television!
  • Boise State Physics and Astronomy Club  – Look through a solar telescope! Outside the SUB (East side)
  • Robots in Action, Treasure Valley FRC Teams: The Bullbots, NaSkCo Scorpions, Team Taters, and V.E.R.N. – Hatch BallroomLearn about these exciting programs and competitions for students from kindergarten through and high school!
  • Pinewood Derby Track, Oregon Trails – Hatch Ballroom
  • Play with Keva Blocks and Uberstix, Discovery Center of Idaho 2nd Floor Atrium, All Ages
  • Explore Engineering by Building your own Hovercraft or Lemon Battery! Boise State Society of Women Engineers – All Ages, 3rd Floor Atrium
  • Ride a Segway, Boise State College of Engineering – Ages 8-Adult, Room 206/East Hallway (As space permits, wait in line)
  • Materials Science, Boise State Materials Science Club – All Ages
  • NEW Solar Go-Kart Display, Greenspeed – All Ages
  • NEW Explore a Stream Table, Boise WaterShed Education Center – All Ages, Room 110

Interactive Science Shows (I)

Interactive and fun science shows in larger classrooms.

  • NEW NASA Astronaut, Steve Swanson – All Ages, 10:00am (60 minutes)NASA’s retired astronaut has flown 2 shuttle flights, STS-117 in 2007 and STS-119 in 2009, and launched to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition in 2014. Learn more about his experiences at NASA and in space.
  • NEW World’s Fastest 5 Ball Juggler, David Rush – All Ages, 1:00pm (45 minutes) – Local technology professional, and juggler on the side, will share his STEM story told through juggling, culminating with an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “most juggling catches in one minute (five balls)”. The current record is 330 catches in 1 minute (5.5 catches per second).
  • NEW Mallory Yates, NASA Johnson Space Center – Ages? Room 103, 9am
  • NEW Jake Forsberg, Planet Labs – CubeSats – Ages? Room 103, 2pm
  • NEW Jessica Koehne, NASA Ames Research Center – Ages 14-Adult, Room 103, 11:30am
  • Molecular Madness with Dr. Picklestein, Boise State Chemistry – All Ages, Room 110, (45 minutes: 11am, 1pm, 3pm)  – Learn about the energy housed in the chemicals that make up our food…AKA…explosions, fire, ignition, combustion, and a few other demos involving liquid nitrogen, cloud in a bottle and silver plating a bottle.
  • Snow Plow Simulator, Idaho Transportation DepartmentOutside in the parking lot (weather permitting) – Experience a super-charged video arcade game!

2016 Photo Gallery

DE Day Stats 2016
We had 5,000 attend in 2016, and expect the same number to participate in 2016.  We had over 75 hands-on activities and demonstrations provided, and about 350 volunteers!

321 people responded to the EvalFest survey.  Number of respondents was equally divided between males and females. 90% of respondents lived within 50 miles of Boise State.  The data clearly show that the festival is positively received, that it increases interest in and positive perception of STEM, and that there is a self-perception of STEM learning due to festival activities.

Thank you…..
To our 2016 sponsors:



To the 75 VOLUNTEERS who facilitate the activities, welcome
and direct visitors, and help make Engineering and Science Festival a success!