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Three fun, educational events on April 28

April  13, 2012

Augustana College invites learners of all ages to visit campus on Saturday, April 28, to take part in three educational events— Polar Palooza, Science Open House and a planetarium program.

Polar Palooza, from 10 a.m. to noon, will be held in the Fryxell Geology Museum (820 38th St.) and will be sponsored by the Augustana College Center for Polar Studies. The free event will be ideal for elementary-school students, giving them the opportunity to see a live gyrfalcon, peek at dinosaur bones from Antarctica, try on Extreme Cold Weather gear, act out the role of a junior scientist, touch animal furs and meet polar scientists who do research in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Among the polar scientists who will be at the event, Dr. Bill Hammer, professor of geology, will showcase the paleontology research he’s done in Antarctica.

Dr. Jennifer Burnham, assistant professor of geography and organizer of Polar Palooza, explained, “Through Polar Palooza, we plan to help local families understand that what they do here in the Midwest impacts the poles.” She added, “Directly and indirectly our pollution negatively affects the polar regions.” Burnham and her husband Dr. Kurt Burnham of The High Arctic Institute are researchers who have spent a great deal of time in Greenland studying climate change and seabirds on Arctic islands.

Science Open House, from noon to 3 p.m., will be held in the Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St.) and will be hosted by college students involved in the Chemistry Club and the Physics Club. This event is also ideal for students in elementary school and will offer hands-on science activities and demonstrations.

According to Megan Butzke, a senior majoring in biochemistry and chemistry from Dekalb, Ill., the Science Open House “will have a kids room, with hands-on activity for children of all ages to participate.” Activities will include making slime, volcanoes and glow-in-the-dark Vaseline petroleum jelly, writing with radishes, and much more. Butzke added, “Our professors also perform shows, such as how to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen, collapsing pop cans, and a performance on kinetics.”

Planetarium program, from 8:30 to 10 p.m., will be held at Augustana College’s John Deere Planetarium (820 38th St.). Adults and children will have the rare chance to see three planets at once.

According to Dr. Lee Carkner, associate professor of physics, “Venus, Mars and Saturn all will be visible for viewing, along with the first quarter Moon.”

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833