Pinhead: Citizen Science, Number Ninjas, & More

Telluride’s Pinhead Institute announces new classes this week. Programs include citizen science, number ninjas, and more. For more information and to register please visit www.pinheadinstitute.org or call 970-369-5190. The current term, which runs through March 31, also continues popular programs including Maker Mondays, Mad Labs on early release Tuesdays, and Lego Robots Junior in Ridgway on Wednesdays. Additionally, free Cyber Clubhouse programs in Telluride and Naturita continue into March.

Maker Mondays at Pinhead. Courtesy photo.

Maker Mondays at Pinhead. Courtesy photo.

Have an intermediate schooler who relishes rolled up shirtsleeves and hands-on discovery? What about a kindergartner who loves the logic of patterns and the challenge of memory games? Maybe a highschooler excited by electronics and riveted by robotics?

Pinhead Institute has a mind-expanding selection of new class sessions beginning this week. Older kids can learn to build a robotic arm; younger kids will be thrilled to discover they can master math principles in the most interesting and inspiring ways, all while having tons of fun.

“Kids of varying ages and interests will be in awe of what they can achieve at Pinhead,” said executive director Sarah Holbrooke. “We can’t leave all the fun to the professionals!”

Citizen Science, which kicks off at Pinhead HQ on Thursday, February 23, offers intermediate school kids in our remote box canyon the exciting and unparalled opportunity to be part of the global scientific community, and to contribute to new scientific discoveries around the world.

“Citizen Science allows pretty much anyone anywhere there’s an Internet connection to participate in a rigorous scientific study – you don’t have to be a PhD to be a part of ground-breaking research,” Pinhead Program Manager Claire Carver explained. “Did you know that citizen scientists have made some very important discoveries, from a new planet, to tomb raiders?”

Using their own keen sets of eyes, our young scientists will contribute to vital research and conservation efforts in the Peruvian Amazon through an aerobotany study, monitor penguins in the Antarctic, help unlock the secrets to genetic mysteries through nematode tracking, and even assist planetary scientists decode the surface of Mars.

“It’s a very tangible way to do science, and rather than recreating results, you’re finding new ones,” Carver said. “It’s important to feel that your results are meaningful, especially at a young age.”

During Arduino Robotics (also on Thursdays) at THS STEM Lab, middle and high school students will build robotic arms from the microprocessor up, beginning with assembly, and culminating with interactive electronic devices they will program to do their bidding.

“Robotics are a huge part of where the future of so many technologies are going,” Carver added.“This type of class could spark an interest in robotics that – who knows – might lead to a job opportunity or the start of a rewarding, lifelong career.”

On Mondays beginning February 27, our youngest Pinheads will gather at Pinhead HQ to explore the patterns and shapes that surround us, sharpen their memories, and engage the skills of logic and problem solving during Number Ninjas for kids in kindergarten through 2nd grade.

“Sometimes kids have an aversion to math, but it may actually be that they have an aversion to addition tables, for example,” said Carver. “In Number Ninjas we’ll use games and puzzles that use similar math principles, but add in the often missing element of fun. Kids will get a chance to be creative, and even learn a few games and puzzles they can use to trick their friends!”

Pinhead Institute is also pleased to continue its partnership with the Ah Haa School for the Arts during Elemental Art on Wednesdays beginning February 22.

In this investigation into the art of chemistry and the chemistry of art, intermediate and middle school students will move through the periodic table using salts, acids, fire, and more to unlock uncommon texture and beauty.

“There is chemistry behind everything we do,” Carver said. “In Elemental Art we investigate it, and learn how to capture and manipulate it to showcase the beauty of chemical reactions and to create intriguing works of art.”

 

The Pinhead Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Affiliate based in Telluride, Colorado that educates and inspires children and adults in the greater Telluride region about the wonders of science and technology through engaging programs, direct interaction with scientists, and unique research-centered internship experiences.

 

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