Science Center of Iowa Event Calendar

Tuesday August 8, 2017

  • Cafe Scientifique: Solar Eclipse 101
  • 5:30 PM 
  • Location: Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
    Presenter: Dr. Ethan Siegel, theoretical physicist and founder of "Starts with a Bang" column

    On August 21, 2017, it will be the first time since 1918 that a total solar eclipse has crossed the continental U.S. from coast to coast, and this month’s Café Scientifique is all about this historic event. We’ll explore the significance of the last “Great American Eclipse” of 1918, and discover how we can use the eclipse to test general relativity and more.

    Whether you’re traveling to the path of totality or catching it from your own backyard, join SCI and Dr. Ethan Siegel as we explore the science of a solar eclipse, and learn how to make the most of the main event on Monday, August 21.

    This talk will be held in SCI's Star Theater planetarium, and we will hear from Dr. Siegel via Skype.

    About the presenter:

    Ethan was born in New York, majored in three different things as an undergrad, and got his Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Yes, you indecisive young people, there is hope. After postdoctoral research focusing on dark matter and cosmic structure formation, he became a physics professor and a professional science communicator. His blog, "Starts With A Bang," was voted the No. 1 science blog on the internet by the Institute of Physics, and, separately, by Real Clear Science. His first book, Beyond The Galaxy, is available now and his second, Treknology, about the real-life science behind the technologies envisioned by Star Trek, comes out in October.

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Saturday August 12, 2017

  • Star Party - Perseid Meteor Shower
  • 6:00 PM 
  • Location: Ewing Park, 5300 Indianola Road, Des Moines

    Bring your picnic blanket and join us at Ewing Park to view the Perseid meteor shower! SCI and Des Moines Astronomical Society (DMAS) will have telescopes set up for you to experience this annual cosmic event. The action in the sky doesn’t get started until later, but the fun starts at 6:00 pm with activities in the park such as:

    • Telescope instruction from the Des Moines Astronomical Society (DMAS)
    • Celestial games, crafts and activities
    • A movie shown on a 25” inflatable screen
    • Prize giveaways
      .....and much more!

    The Perseid Meteor Shower has been visible for more than 2,000 years and gets its name from the constellation Perseus, from which it appears to originate. It occurs annually, beginning in late July and lasting through August. During the meteor shower's greatest peak in the pre-dawn hours we could view more than 60 meteors per hour!

    This event is in partnership with City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation and Des Moines Astronomical Society (DMAS).

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Monday August 21, 2017

  • 2017 Solar Eclipse Viewing Event
  • 11:45 AM 

    Join SCI and the Des Moines Astronomical Society to view the 2017 solar eclipse! Staff and volunteers will provide telescopes with solar filters for the public to safely view the eclipse.

    A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. We will view 95% obscuration in Des Moines at 1:08 pm. This is the first total solar eclipse from coast to coast in America in 99 years.

    The timeline for the solar eclipse viewing event is:

    11:45 am - Event starts as eclipse begins
    1:08 pm - Maximum obscuration
    2:45 pm - Event ends as eclipse concludes

    This event is in partnership with the Des Moines Astronomical Society.

    Location: Iowa State Capitol West Terrace, 1007 E. Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319

    What to bring: Be sure to pack lawn chairs or blankets, snacks and plenty of water. If you have solar glasses or other safe viewing devices, be sure to bring those, too!

    Parking: Look for free parking in the parking garage on the corner of Grand and 7th. A map of parking locations for visitors can be found here. OR use the free D-Line downtown shuttle, which runs from Western Gateway Park to the Capitol every 10 minutes.

    Restrooms: Restrooms are available in the Capitol building.

    Weather Plan: The event will take place rain or shine unless there is severe weather. As an alternative, SCI will be showing a live stream from the path of totality from 11:00 am - 2:15 pm and offering $5 admission all day on Monday.

    Please note: SCI is completely sold out of soalr eclipse glasses AND all of the scheduled SOLARMAX documentary showings.

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Friday August 25, 2017

  • SCI Annual Fundraising Event & Auction
  • 6:30 PM 
  • Support Lifelong Learning — Support SCI!

    One of the premier fundraising events in Des Moines, the SCI Annual Fundraising Event & Auction invites members of the community to eat, drink, dance and network. 

    With funds raised, SCI provides vast opportunities for more than 320,000 children, teens and adults to engage in science learning through interactive exhibits, live programming, IMAX films, special events, workshops and camps at SCI each year.

    Get Tickets

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