Become A Carnival Exhibitor

Exhibitor Application

Be an Element of the Fun

The COSI Science Festival Carnival at the Peninsula is the culminating event of the four day festival, taking place on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event will bring thousands of people to the Peninsula, including Washington Blvd., Genoa Park and COSI, for a day of interactive activities hosted by Columbus’s own science, technology, engineering and mathematics focused organizations. This FREE event is open to all, but the primary target audience will be families with school ages children, with a special focus on those with limited access to science education resources.

ALL Science Carnival exhibits must be designed to engage the public in an interactive, hands-on way with some aspect of science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. We encourage you to be creative! Help the public understand what your organization does for our community and beyond. Help us address workforce challenges by bridging the STEM skills gap and allowing our community’s children to see themselves in scientists and scientists in themselves.


Important Dates


Tips and Tricks for a Successful Carnival Exhibit 

Be Prepared

  • The Science Carnival is a 5 hour event. Make sure to staff your exhibit accordingly. Schedule your staff/volunteers in shifts and be sure to take breaks! An event as highly interactive and hands-on like this can be draining. Visit the other exhibits, head to a food truck, or simply find a shaded spot in the grass to relax for a bit.
  • 2-3 people staffing your exhibit at a time is encouraged.
  • Train your staff/volunteers beforehand!
  • Not everyone running your activities needs to be an expert, but make sure at least one person can really dive into the details and answer questions for the extra curious participants.
  • We highly recommend your staff dresses the part. Represent your organization with a branded t-shirt. And don’t forget your CSF button!
  • Really think through the amount of materials you will need. To start, think about how many people can your exhibit accommodate in an hour? Multiply that by 5 and then add in a little extra for safe measure.
  • Safety first! Set a good example and practice safe science for attendees. Bring goggles, gloves, lab coats, etc if need.

Know Your Audience

  • We are expecting the exhibits to be extremely busy with eager learners so it is important to keep your activities efficient. Prepare for each activity to handle at least 3-5 participants at a time and to last no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Speak their language. Be careful not to use too many technical words and terms. When techy terms are needed, be sure to take the extra time to explain.

Grab Their Attention

  • Put thought into your booth design, what is going to pull attendees to your exhibit?
  • Don’t forget that you have tent walls, be sure to include some engaging posters, etc.
  • Bring items and activities that encourage attendees to touch, feel, explore and play as you guide them through the science concepts behind them.
  • Be engaging and outgoing! Smile and have fun! This is your chance to show your passion to the next generation.

Keep Them Engaged

  • Ask questions.
  • Kids love to get messy and it is a great way to keep them engaged, but don’t forget to offer the necessary cleaning materials for them to use when they are ready to move on.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, that is correct! The carnival will be right outside the COSI building along Washington Blvd and Genoa Park. COSI will be open during normal business hours as well!

Registration opened on May 22, 2018. The deadline to register as an exhibitor is February 1, 2019. We strongly advise, as space is limited, that you sign up as soon as possible to guarantee your spot and your activity.

COSI Science Festival staff will work with all exhibitors to minimize potential overlap. The more detail we have about your plans early in the process, the easier it will be to avoid repeating the same activity in multiple locations. In the event that multiple groups submit the same activity, our staff will work with you to develop a different activity.

An event of this scale and magnitude involves many costs (including, but not limited to: permitting fees, security, and rental costs to provide exhibitors with the basic necessities on site). The exhibitor fee allows us to recoup some of these costs so that the Festival can be sustained year after year. We are aware that these costs may prohibit participation for some exhibitors and we would like to work with all groups to make entry possible. Contact Kaitlyn Majewski at should you want to discuss options.

Credit card payments can be made by calling Sue Carter 614-228-2674 Ext 2105 and payments via check should be made payable to COSI or Franklin County Historical Society and can be mailed to:

COSI Science Festival Carnival Registration
Attn: Finance/Sue Carter
333 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Cancellation requests must be sent in writing to
Cancellations made prior to April 4, 2019 will be refunded 75% of the total cost.
Cancellations made between April 5 and April 15, 2019 will be refunded 25% of the total cost.
We are not able to refund any costs for cancellations made after April 15, 2019.

The Science Carnival is a rain or shine event so please be prepared for all types of weather. In an extreme case, we will implement an inclement weather plan, which will be communicated to all via email.

Each 10x10 exhibit will include the following:
10x10 tented exhibit space (with side and back walls)
(1) 8-foot table
(2) chairs
(1) sign identifying your space

Each 10x20 exhibit will include the following:
10x20 tented exhibit space (with side and back walls)
(2) 8-ft tables
(4) chairs
(1) sign identifying your space

It is hard to say exactly since this is the first year, but we are preparing for thousands! When preparing for the event, be sure to plan to serve a large audience. We ask that all exhibitors provide adequate staffing and materials to manage a crowd of this size. To estimate the amount of materials you may need, determine how many people your activity can accommodate in one hour and multiply by 5!

Yes - be sure to complete registration forms for each of the spaces/activities your organization will have at the Carnival.