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 email@example.com to request bus pass(es). (These passes are good for ValleyRide bus services within the city of Boise on Saturday.) Passes will be available starting Monday, January 15th and the last day to request bus passes is noon on Tuesday, January 30th. 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 (pdf)
- Activities Map (pdf) coming soon
Current Activities are tentative and may change.
Activity locations (SUB, ENGR, MEC, HML, KIN, ERB )
- 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.
- Sessions filled on a first come basis. Five ways to participate: Sign Up (SU**) (sign up at activity location); Scheduled (S) (activities have specific beginning and end times); Drop-In (D); Open Demonstrations (O); Interactive Science Shows (I). Ages listed are suggested, but not required.
- STEMbusUSA.org – Parked Outside, All Ages (D) – Explore the interactive STEM bus featuring hands-on activities including virtual reality, circuitry, robotics, and more!
- Treasure Valley Photo Booth – Jordan Lobby – Get your photo taken with fun science and engineering props!!
Simplot Ballroom – STEM Moon Shot, Idaho LEGO Users Group and IDEABRICKWORKS
- Design within Constraints using LEGO Bricks – Engineers and scientists work to investigate and solve problems every day. They work within constraints of technology, time, access, funding, knowledge, and oh so many things. But that is not a limitation, it is part of the reward. Come and build a tower with LEGO bricks in a fun and engaging way and see how you do under the constraints of time and material. We will be having several rounds of this competition during the day and awards will be provided after each round. And the prizes are…you might have guessed…LEGO! You will build a tower with LEGO and be judged on height, number of bricks used, and stability. The secret is balancing those constraints to form YOUR winning solution!
- NEW Saturn V Moon Rocket – Contribute to the build of an 11.5 foot tall model of the Saturn V moon rocket. This activity uses LEGO as engagement and celebration of space.
- NEW Micro Build – Make a small version of the Saturn V that uses custom stickers as a way to remember the learning and fun of the day.
- NEW Mosaic
- NEW Moc Display
- NASA Ames Research Center
- NEW NASA LEGO display
Hatch Ballroom – Interactive Presentations
- NEW The Martian Movie analyzed by Retired NASA Astronaut, Boise State University, All Ages,10:00am (60 minutes) (I) – 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. Swanson will provide insight into The Martian movie. Learn what parts of the movie are possible, plausible, and those that just defy the laws of physics.
- NEW Summoning Devils in the Desert, Boise State Physics Department – All Ages, 11:30am (45 minutes) (I) – Dust devils are small, dust-carrying vortices that occur ubiquitously on Mars, where they may pose a hazard for human exploration. In this
presentation, Prof. Brian Jackson of Boise State’s Physics Dept. will discuss his field work to study these phenomena, which includes flying an instrumented drone through active dust devils. This presentation is available at com.
- World’s Fastest Juggler Attempts another Guinness World Record, DavidRush4STEM.com, All Ages, 2:00pm (60 minutes) (I) – David Rush is an MIT graduate and local technology professional who has broken 11 Guinness World Records. Come listen to him share his STEM story as he juggles, balances, entertains and inspires culminating with an attempt to break another Guinness World Record live for the audience: Fastest 10 meters balancing a cue on the chin. The current record is 3.02 seconds.
Jordan Ballroom – Open Demonstrations for ALL AGES (D)
- Imagine STEM, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage and Meridian unBound – Come learn how Girl Scouts do STEM and try out fun hands-on activities provided by the Meridian unbound Tech Lab!
- Ornithology Unleashed! Intermountain Bird Observatory – Meet some real life Ornithologists and learn about the creatures they study. That’s right, we’re talking about birds! How much does a hummingbird weigh? How does an owl see in the dark? How far can a Long-billed Curlew fly? Learn all this and more at the Intermountain Bird Observatory’s interactive touch-table.
- 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, NearSys – What 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.
- Fun with Engineering! Idaho National Laboratory – Experience a variety of hands-on STEM activities using an electric Vandegraff, a handcrank powered generator to power two different types of light bulbs, programming Ozobots, hand-made rockets, and the Bernoulli Principle.
- PBS Kids Design Squad Global! Idaho Public Television and PBS
- NEW Squish Circuits, HP, Squishy Circuits uses conductive and insulating play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuits in a fun, hands-on way.
- The Future of Fungineering, Creative Technologies Association Showcase, Boise State University – Learn about cutting-edge technology and how it can be used to create new forms of multimedia entertainment experiences for audiences of all sizes. Come see the CTA’s current and coolest projects!
- STEM Through the Lens of Aviation, Idaho Division of Aeronautics – Learn aboutdevelopment and fostering of Idaho’s system of airports and active aviation community, and the annual ACE Academy and Aviation Art Contests
- Virtual Reality Experience, Boise State Space Broncos – Explore the ocean or outer space with our virtual reality headsets and learn how virtual reality is used to train astronauts!
- Chemistry is Chool, Boise State Chemistry Club
- Fins, Furs, and Feathers Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge–How well do you know your Idaho wildlife? Visit this interactive touch-table to test your wildlife ID skills, learn about some of the critters that call southwest Idaho home, keep resources in “balance” as you play Ecosystem Jenga, and more.
- Build a Bubble-Powered Rocket! Boise State Microgravity Team – Build your own rocket using fizzing tablets! Watch it lift off and see how high it can go!
- NEW Careers in Aviation, Treasure Valley Community College – TVCC’s Aviation Science program provides hands-on pilot training to ensure you’re up and flying right away with the right stuff. Serving the Treasure Valley and Eastern Oregon, our program focuses on providing you with practical learning to get you started in a fun and exciting aviation career. Our program offers in-flight training, knowledgeable instructors, and the opportunity to achieve in-depth specialization.
- NEW Littlebots 3D Printed Robots, Slant Concepts
Student Union Building Rooms – Drop-In or Scheduled
- 15,000 Volt Demonstration, Idaho Power – Designed to illustrate the properties of electricity. The demonstration will prove the theory that electricity always seeks the quickest path to earth. Capacity 40 (30 Minutes: 9am, 10am, 11, 12, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) Bergquist Lounge (S)
- What’s a Watt? Idaho Power – Ride a bicycle that generates power. Feel the energy that powers a light bulb, a computer, and a television. Bergquist Lounge (O)
- Build a Super BristleBot Robot, Reuseum Educational, Inc. – Ages 5-14, Farnsworth (D) – Use ordinary materials including popsicle sticks, micro motors, batteries, toothbrushes and googly eyes and turn them into self-powered little robots that kids can build and take home.
- Physics Demonstrations, Boise State Physics and Astronomy Club – Cataldo (D)
- Earthquake Table and Tower Building, Treasure Valley Math and Science Center – Ages 5-14,Trueblood (D)
- Ride a Segway, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Boise State – Ages 8-Adult, Ah Fong (D) – Learn about the Segway, a selfbalancing, personal transportation vehicle that uses computerized gyroscopes and tilt sensors to maintain balance and make riding fun!
- NEW Get Set Inc. Alexander
- Have Fun With STEM! STEM Educators’ Club, Boise State University, Boyington (D)
- NEW Meet the Professionals, Idaho Section of the American Water Resources Association, Brink (D) (30 Minutes) Science and Engineering is a lot of fun, but how do you make it a career? Here’s a chance to hear the stories of people working as scientists and engineers. Local professionals will talk about the paths that got them to where they are today. You will hear how they chose their profession, what they do on an average day, and what have they learned along the way. Come hear the story of their journeys. Twenty-four professionals (two per 30 minute period) have volunteered to spend time with you. Check the schedule for their names and professions.
- Help a Pilot Glide to Safety: Paper Airplanes! Rich Stowell Consulting – Ages 13-Adult. Capacity 40 (45 Minutes: 10am, 11am, 1pm) Barnwell (S) – This is a fun, experiential workshop. Following an introduction to basic aerodynamics, participants work in small teams to design their own paper airplanes. Working in teams, participants will conduct experiments to find the glide ratio and glide angle of a simple balsa glider. Participants will then help a pilot determine the glide performance of a real airplane!
- Family STEAM Day, Albertsons Library at Boise State – All Ages (D) – Build, make, and play at Albertsons library. Engage with a variety of fun STEAM-based toys and activities for all ages. Build with blocks of all shapes and sizes. Make oobleck or your own harmonica to take home. Play with robot toys, including Code-a-pillars and Ozobots. Create with straws & connectors, Knex, and MagnaTiles. Families can pick up a free copy of a STEM-themed book to take home.
- NEW Experience Virtual Reality, Idaho Virtual Reality Council
- What Can Drones Do? Rapid Aerial LLC – Learn about unmanned aerial vehicle technology
- NEW Hydrologic Instrumentation Demonstration, USGS
- Designing a Highway Interchange, Transportation You, WTS – Design a highway interchange that allows drivers to approach from any highway and leave by any highway without crossing any lanes of traffic.
- Robots in Action, Treasure Valley FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Teams – Learn about these exciting programs and competitions for students from kindergarten through and high school!
- Pinewood Derby Track, Oregon Trails
- Seatbelt Demonstration, Federal Highway Administration – Live demonstration highlighting the importance of wearing your seatbelt.
- Magnetics of Materials Science, Boise State Materials Science Club – Explore six demonstrations including: Super conducting levitation, magnetic springs, magnetic elements of a hard disk drive, magnetic levitation, magnetic shape memory micro-pumping, and power generation.
- NEW Walking with Wildlife, The Animals’ Trust
- NEW Explore Civil Engineering with Marshmallow Bridges, Engineering for Kids
- Engineering Surveying, Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors – Look through a total station, and learn about cool careers in land surveying
- Ride a Segway, IEEE Club Boise State – Ages 8-Adult (As space permits, wait in line) (O)
- Airheads Unite with Dr. Picklestein and Lady Argentum, Boise State Chemistry Dept. – All Ages, Room 110, 10am, 12pm, 2pm (45 minutes) (I) – Examine different substances (and their properties) in the air that surrounds us. There will be explosions involved, and a few favorite demonstrations performed.
- NEW Volts and Jolts, Discovery Center of Idaho – All Ages, Room 110, 1pm and 3pm (45 minutes) (I)
- NEW Meet the BLM Raptors, Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, All Ages, ENGR 103 (S) – Enjoy a wild, educational presentation with live Raptor Ambassadors, and learn about conservation of your public lands. (30 Minutes: 10am, 11pm, and 12pm)
- An Introduction to Computer Science Using Scratch, Idaho Technology Council – Hands-on programming experience with the basics of Scratch, and learn about careers and education in the field of Computer Science. Ages: 8 and up, younger (6+) with Adult assistance, Room 111, Capacity 25 (D)
- Beyond the Looking Glass: Seeing at the Nanoscale, Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Learn how scientists and engineers “see” things too small to be seen in an optical microscope! All Ages, Room 104 (D)
- Bugs Under a Microscope! Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Ages 8 – Adult, Room 108 (D)
- Infrared Cameras, Boise State Energy for Society – We will provide demonstrations using a number of IR (Infrared) cameras. Experience the ability to see heat and cold. Have your IR picture taken and email it to yourself. (D) Room 225
- Build and Eat an Edible Aquifer, Department of Environmental Quality and SUEZ – Ages 5-14, Room 215, Capacity 30 (45 minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) (SU**). 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.
- Programming with Blockly, Boise State ACM-W – Ages 8-Adult, Room 238 (D)
- Play with Keva Blocks, Discovery Center of Idaho – 2nd Floor Atrium, All Ages, (O)
- Build a Bridge using West Point Bridge Design Software, Boise State Civil Engineering Club – Ages 8-Adult, Room 213, Capacity 30 (D) – 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.
- Build a Mini-Hovercraft, Society of Women Engineers at Boise State – Explore engineering by building your own hovercraft. 3rd Floor Atrium, All Ages (O)
- Extreme Weather Science, NOAA/National Weather Service – Ages 10-Adult, Room 313, Capacity 30, (45 Minutes: 9:30, 10:30,11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00) (S) – 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) (S) – 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.
- Sustainable Energy and Materials, Boise State Materials Science & Engr – Ages 8-14, Room 314 (D)
- How to Use Your Laptop to Design New Materials, Boise State Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering – Can you use your own computer to design a new material for desired applications? Yes, you can. It is straightforward and free! This activity will demonstrate how to use advanced computer modeling tools to design your own materials. Come to join this event to play with atomic structures, nanomaterials, and 3D molecules, and to design your own materials for next generation. All Ages, ENGR 336 (D)
- Tie Dye Chromatography, Micron Foundation – Ages 5-14, Room 106, Capacity 50 (45 min: 9:30am, 10:30am11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) (S) – Use permanent markers to experiment with the concepts related to chromatography and color separation.
- Catapult Launch, Boise State Engineering and Innovation College – Ages 5-14, Room 114, 30 minutes (D) – Design and build a catapult using spoons, popsicle sticks, and tape. Test your design on a tower of cups!
- Civil Engineering – Tau Lambda Rho, Room 309 and 301
- Snap Circuits, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boise State University, Ages 10-Adult, Room 307, Capacity 30 (D)
- NEW Science and Technology at the City of Boise, City of Boise – Several departments from the City of Boise will be showcasing how science and technology is used across the City. Activities are being conducted by Public Works, Library, and Information Technology. Topics include geothermal technology, watershed management, 3-D printing, robotics, geographical information sciences and a variety of other technologies that help run our city. (D)
- NEW Experience Virtual Reality, Boise Public Library
- Outdoor Science Exploration, McCall Outdoor Science School – Experience the intersection engineering and field science with wildfire simulation boxes, avalanche modeling, and animal tracking demonstrations.
- Wind Tunnel and Aerodesign, Boise State – Experience the breeze of a wind tunnel which tests aerodynamic shapes, lift and drag, how models of buildings behave in wind, and how air flows around scale models. Plus the remote controlled airplane designed and built by ME students.
- NASCAR K&N Race Car, The Patriot Motorsports Group in Garden City, Idaho – Learn how many, many areas of engineering impact the design of this handcrafted, authentic, 185mph 650hp purpose built race car. Chat with the NASCSAR driver, BSU Pre-Engineering student Stafford Smith and his BSU Student crew as they give you hands-on insights into its construction, operation, setup, and analysis. Hop in the driver’s seat for a picture with the team’s unofficial mascot, the Idaho Potato Spuddy Buddy.
- Machine Shop
- Solar Go-Kart Display, Greenspeed Research Inc.
- Exploring Explosive Eruptions with the Liquid Nitrogen Volcano Experiment, Boise State Geosciences, All Ages, Outside behind ERB, (10am, 10:30, 11am, 11:30am, 12noon, 12:30, 1pm, 1:30pm) (O)
- Experiments Explaining Volcanic Processes, Boise State Geosciences, Lobby, All Ages (O)
Engineering and Science Festival Stats 2017
“This event was amazing. There was so much to do, my kids were captivated all day long!!”
“We had such a great time. My daughter (7) says “there are things here I never even knew existed!” Thank you.”
“So much fun! Thank you guys for doing this for our kids!”
“We had a wonderful time yesterday learning. Thank you.”
“Great event! Thanks so much!”
- 1400 Bristle Bots were made
- 900 water bottles given away at STEMBusUSA
- 500 watched Dr. Picklestein and Lady Argentum
- 700 mini hovercrafts made by SWE
- 500 visited the Albertsons Library
- 75 Girl Scouts earned their Engineering & Science Festival pin
- 162 edible aquifers were made
To our 2017 sponsors:
To the 75 VOLUNTEERS who facilitate the activities, welcome
and direct visitors, and help make Engineering and Science Festival a success!