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Exploring science

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Bishop Museum will host the Festival of Science today, which features a day full of activities focusing on Hawaii's ecosystems. Kama'aina Kids program participants Tristan Cole, left, Ashley Jez and Perri Funa join science educator Karen Holman in examining specimen jars at the Science Adventure Center.
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Tristan Cole, left, Ashley Jez and Perri Funai explore the Bishop Museum Science Adventure Center.

Youngsters from the Kamaaina Kids program smeared ice chips on their faces and anywhere else the Evolution 3000 infrared camera could pick up temperature changes, from warm-red to cold-black.

"Are my lips black?" one of the kids said as the group of 8- to 11-year-olds enthusiastically passed the camera around during a recent visit to Bishop Museum.

The high-tech camera and about 10 other stations will be set up again today in the museum’s Science Adventure Center as this month’s Science Saturday, dubbed the Festival of Science, features a day full of activities focusing on Hawaii’s ecosystems.

Science education manager Leon Geschwind said most of the "ologies" will be demonstrated at the stations, including geology, biology and anthropology. "Plus some space science," he said amid the flurry of activity. "It should be a fun atmosphere, so come with the kids because there’ll be a lot of hands-on activities."


Where: Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today

Cost: Free with museum admission ($17.95 general, $14.95 seniors and children ages 4-12, free for children 3 and under)

Info: 847-3511 or www.bishopmuseum.org


Children can spend some of their time picking up and peering into specimen jars and doing more careful study using kid-friendly microscope tubes.

Bishop Museum’s outreach includes its Holoholo Science program, which visits schools across the state and takes similar activities to students to "show what it’s like to be a scientist" and inspire them to pursue a career in science.

Granted, at their age, things aren’t quite in focus when it comes to what they’re going to be when they grow up, but the enthusiasm is there.

"I want to be an archeologist," said a wet-faced Reanelle Lao, 9, with the Kamaaina Kids group. "I’d like to discover how different people get diseases and find a cure."

"I want to be a chemistry scientist," said 8-year-old Zachary Myers, "and I hope to make a special gas with magic powers that can possibly help create something, whatever you want."

Ashley Jez, 11, said she wants to be a scientist who "works with gems and rocks and stuff."

"That’s called a geologist," a reporter offered helpfully.

"Really?" Ashley responded with wonderment.

Other activities at today’s Festival of Science will include doing a biological survey of native and introduced species living in a stream habitat, and brushing dirt away in trays to reveal and identify traditional Hawaiian artifacts that were used for everyday tasks.

With a June activity day about medical mysteries and one on climate change on Aug. 14, "Science Saturdays are big days for the museum," Geschwind said. "It’s great to see the parents interacting with their kids and how knowledge is passed on through intergenerational learning."


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