As the largest STEM event in Ohio, and one of the largest in the nation, the COSI Science Festival is an annual four-day festival that engages thousands with hands-on experiences, inspiring the pursuit of careers in STEM.

The first three days feature community events – both digital and in-person – across COSI’s 19 partner cities.

The final day culminates with a Big Science Celebration in downtown Columbus, which will feature an incredible array of partner booths and thousands of participants.

About COSI

Since 1964, COSI has grown alongside our community to provide critical, relevant, and accessible science education. Named the #1 Science Center in the Nation by USA TODAY in 2020 and 2021, COSI is uniquely positioned to connect learners of all ages with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to help restore society’s trust in the power of science. We have sparked interest in STEM and related careers for countless learners, and each year our onsite, offsite, and online experiences reach over one million people. COSI, like science, is for everyone: all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We serve as a pillar of learning and are a cultural cornerstone, committed to meeting STEM literacy, workforce development, and accessible education needs throughout our diverse community. Accessible STEM education is as critical as ever. The programmatic innovations, shifts, and adaptations that COSI adopted in 2020 due to the challenges of COVID-19 will carry forward, enhancing our crucial role in bringing STEM education to all learners as we cultivate a scientifically literate society by meeting learners where they are.

2022 Festival Overview
Building off an inaugural year of science events across our community in 2019, and two subsequent years of successful, pandemic-necessitated digital versions of the festival, the 2022 COSI Science Festival will feature a return to accessible and safe in-person events and programs. From May 4 – 7, 2022, COSI will once again deliver engaging and exciting science content to homes, schools, community centers, and workplaces throughout Central Ohio, bringing science to residents where they live, learn, and lounge.

The impact and engagement of these STEM events will be amplified by the distribution of COSI Learning Lunchbox education kits. Learning Lunchboxes are interactive science kits filled with all supplies needed for five fun STEM activities and additional exciting learning resources. Fun for the whole family and perfect for school-age learners, all Learning Lunchbox content is aligned with national learning guidelines and standards.

COSI Science Festival events will be held free of charge, and COSI-hosted virtual events will remain accessible on COSI’s social media channels indefinitely, allowing for increased views and ongoing learning long after the festival ends.

About the STEM Star Initiative
The COSI STEM Star initiative honors ordinary people doing extraordinary STEM work, highlighting the scientists that live among us and provide us with a deep connection to the community-wide spirit of the festival. STEM champions showcase exemplary work to leverage the power of science to improve the quality of life for us all, in Central Ohio and beyond.

In 2022, we will be selecting 5 COSI STEM Stars – each STEM Star corresponding to the point of a star.

Science, technology, engineering and math is for everyone. We encourage you to give special consideration to diversity when making a nomination for a STEM Star candidate in order to best represent our diverse Central Ohio community through the COSI STEM Star program.

Please click here to view our STEM Star alumni classes.

About Community Partnerships
The COSI Science Festival is fueled by partnership and built on collaboration. With businesses, community organizations, educational institutions, civic leaders, and industry joining forces, the COSI Science Festival features a unique, partner-based model that ensures the benefits of the festival reach a diverse audience across a wide geography, while also ensuring each festival event has its own distinct science flair.
Community Partners:

  • City of Bexley
  • City of Columbus
  • City of Circleville
  • City of Delaware
  • City of Dublin
  • City of Powell
  • City of Grove City
  • City of Heath
  • City of London
  • City of Marysville
  • City of New Albany
  • Neighborhood of Franklinton
  • City of Gahanna
  • City of Pickerington
  • City of Reynoldsburg
  • City of Upper Arlington
  • City of Westerville
  • City of Whitehall
  • City of Worthington

About COSI Learning Lunchboxes
In partnership with 19 schools and/or community organizations throughout Central Ohio, COSI will distribute approximately 9,500 free COSI Learning Lunchboxes – STEM education kits – during the festival, with 500 boxes going to each of our 19 partner communities.

These award-winning boxes, historically created to be distributed alongside meal programs, provide five activities that promote science, technology, engineering, arts, math (STEAM), culture, history, and more. Each kit has all the supplies needed to conduct the included experiments, as well as an optional online component. All of our STEM kits align with state standards and have been developed by professional educators.

Click here to learn more about the contents of each themed box!

About Community Events (May 4th – May 6th)
Partners of all kinds invite adults and youth alike to learn how fascinating STEM topics, organizations, and careers can be. Whether at a mall or Metro Park, a library or a lab, a food pantry or a flower farm, community-based events will take place throughout Central Ohio in locations diverse as their participants.

Throughout the festival, digital and in-person STEM events will immerse learners of all ages from all corners of our community in all things science.
Featured series include:

“Be a Scientist” Series, which inspires us to see science in our everyday lives while sparking visions of STEM career paths. Past “Be a Scientist” events include conversations with real NASA astronauts and scientists; a Learning Lunchbox STEM kit demonstration led by 2020 Miss America Winner and biochemist Camille Schrier; an explosive live show from a local glassblower; a STEM contest to meet YouTube star and wildlife educator Coyote Peterson; and more.

“Adult Science” Series, which engages the 18+ crowd in learning experiences ranging from Science Trivia at neighborhood bars to expert presentations at local industry powerhouses.

“BioBlitz” Citizen Science Series, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a researcher by documenting Ohio plant and animal species through the iNaturalist platform.

About BioBlitz
Science is all around us. COSI invites you to become a member of the scientific community by participating in the 2022 COSI Science Festival BioBlitz!

From April 29 – May 7, our community will work together to find as many species as possible in Ohio. Become a scientist by taking photos of plants and animals in the wild, and uploading your observations to the iNaturalist platform. You can find animals at a local park or even in your own backyard! Scientists, naturalists, and researchers will use our observations in their scientific research.

Let’s explore Ohio’s biodiversity!

About Big Science Celebration (May 7th)
On the festival’s final day, COSI and our partners cap off the festival with a Big Science Celebration, packed full of dynamic and interactive science demonstrations and activities led by local STEM professionals, researchers, and experts.

Held in the parks and riverfront surrounding COSI, this incredible gathering brings the public face-to-face with STEM experts from academics to pharmaceuticals to zoology— and everything in between. The Big Science Celebration allows exhibitors to showcase to the public how STEM manifests in their daily work and lives in accessible ways – proving that whether in research or banking, engineering or culinary arts, science powers all industries.