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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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!
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.
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!
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.