Science festival to feature fun, education for families

The second annual Las Vegas Science Festival is scheduled to begin Sunday and is an opportunity for locals to experience free educational programs.

The festival is set to culminate May 5 with an expo slated from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Exhibitors from science-related organizations and businesses plan to offer hands-on activities, entertainment and education for families. The expo is free and open to the public.

Last year's expo featured live birds and spiders that kids waited in line to touch; student-controlled robots interacting with the crowd; dinosaur fossils; jewelry made from coaxial cables; and bubbly chemical reactions that drew "ooohs" and "aaahs" from kids.

The expo also is set to feature a Rubik's Cube competition with participants from local middle and high schools.

Everything about the festival has grown. Last year's expo featured about 60 booths. This year, it is nearing 100. Last year's budget was $150,000. This year, $250,000 was raised through corporate sponsorships.

Exhibit IQ, the festival's organizer, worked with the Clark County School District last year to send professionals from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math into classrooms. About 30 schools requested to have a guest speaker last year. More than 200 requests were made this year.

Exhibit IQ, 10161 Park Run Drive, Suite 150, is a national producer of educational exhibits and programs. President John Good said these kinds of festivals are important to keep kids engaged.

"I can't tell you how impressed we were that so many people in our community care about science and are interested in it," Good said. "It was encouraging to all of us.

"The goal is to really show that science and technology are so critical to everything we do. It allows you to make more educated decisions in your life. We want them to recognize there are so many career options."


Sunday, the festival's Science is Everywhere Day, is set to feature events at 20 locations across the valley. Most of the locations will offer ongoing tours and programming, and space is limited.

Good recommended arriving early and having a backup plan in case a location is full. He said a few of the locations have an admission cost to access the free LVSF programs.

For more information, complete descriptions and updated listings, visit

Some locations include:

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Blvd. North, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road, from noon to 3 p.m.

The Science and Engineering Building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, from noon to 4 p.m.

Vegas PBS, 3050 E. Flamingo Road, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Circus Circus Adventuredome, 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Fremont Street Experience, 425 Fremont St., from 2 to 7 p.m.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. North, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The College of Southern Nevada Planetarium, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon, 1512 Industrial Blvd. in Boulder City, at 8:45 and 10:45 a.m., and 12:45 and 2:45 p.m.

Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. An admission fee is required. To RSVP, email

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South, at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. To RSVP, call 792-7980.

The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, from 9 a.m. to noon.


For Science Week: Science Gatherings, the festival plans to feature guest speakers, presentations and activities for kids and adults. Some of the programs include:

"The Making of a Dinosaur Star," scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Dr. Stuart S. Sumida, a professor of biology at California State University, San Bernardino, works with animation studios to design dinosaurs in movies.

"Community Gardening: Can it Improve Our Health and Environment?" is scheduled from 9 to 10 a.m. May 1 at Rose Garden, 1632 Yale St.

"Is the World Coming to an End in 2012? What does the Science Say?" is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 2 at the Cambridge Recreation Center, 3920 Cambridge St.

"Rad Science! Explore the Physics of Skateboarding" is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 3 at Hollywood Skate Park, 1650 S. Hollywood Blvd.

"Make the Art + Science Connection!" is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 4 at the First Friday Kid's Zone at the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.

"Experience the Nature of Science" is scheduled to feature special programs about plants, animals and geology from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through May 4 at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Drive.

The Sunrise Library, 5400 Harris Ave., also has special programs planned for young children Monday through May 4. For more information, call 507-3905.

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at or 224-5524.