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October 22, 2017

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Nine-day science fest begins throughout Las Vegas Valley

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The Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival gets under way Friday and continues through May 6.

A week full of exploration and discovery is underway with more than 40 educational events throughout the Las Vegas Valley as part of the Science & Technology Festival.

Hands-on exhibits, debates and tours of various facilities are scheduled, even an appearance by a creator of infamous “Star Wars” vehicles on May the Fourth.

Some events require registration to attend. Got to SciFest.vegas for more information.

Friday

Kicking off the week, students can attend the Science and Technology Expo from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. at the College of Southern Nevada’s North Las Vegas campus, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave.

Various activities will showcase science and technology endeavors at CSN, including a planetarium show, how to handle creepy crawlers and how to design a website.

Saturday

The 2,900-acre Clark County Wetlands Park will host its third annual BioBlitz from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. This free, family-friendly event will focus on biodiversity. Participants will help identify as many plants, mammals, birds and insects as they can from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then watch their observations populate the Park’s online map. The entrance is 7050 Wetlands Park Lane, about 1 mile east of Boulder Highway off Tropicana Avenue.

If your child has dreams of discovering the next big dinosaur, then Junior Paleontologist Day at Tule Springs State Park is just for them. Those who attend will join UNLV paleontologist Josh Bonde for a short hike to learn about the geology of the area and visit historic dig sites dating to the 1960s, when radiocarbon dating advanced. The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Tule Springs State Park, 5050 Brent Lane.

Sunday: Science is Everywhere Day

Sunday is the busiest day with two-dozen events scheduled.

Morning

Everybody loves a good theme park ride, but have you ever wondered what goes into making those roller coasters zoom, those ferris wheels spin and those 3-D rides pop? The Rollercoaster Roundup at the Adventuredome in Circus Circus will let you in on the industry’s secrets.

Attendees will get VIP access to the Adventuredome at Circus Circus, allowing them to see what role technology plays in the theme park rides such the El Loco and the Inverter. The tour will start at 8:30 a.m. Registration is required, and parking fees will apply.

Afternoon

It’s visible from just about anywhere in the valley, but there’s a lot that goes into the world's tallest observation wheel, the High Roller, located at the Linq.

Backstage tours will be held beginning at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Registration ahead of time is required. The attraction’s design and engineering will be discussed.

Evening

Las Vegas is known for its vibrant neon signs, but most people don't realize the science behind them

The Neon Museum, 770 N. Las Vegas Blvd. North, will host the Science Techie Tour on Sunday. The 45-minute routes will begin at 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. All attendees must have a ticket to attend.

Monday

Parents in the Digital Age need to be aware of cybersecurity. Tips on how to keep children safe online will be presented from 6:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N. Buffalo Dr.

Tuesday

If you ever considered whether there is life on other planets, check out Jill Tarter of the SETI Project at 6:30 p.m. at the West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd.

Tarter will discuss what could be out there and what is being done to find extraterrestrial life.

Wednesday

“Global Warming: Hoax, Doomsday, or What?” will be at 6:30 p.m. at the WIndmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane. Nationally known experts Michael Shermer and James Taylor will sound off on each end of the climate change spectrum. Shermer believes global warming’s effects on the Earth are a threat, while Taylor says it doesn't exist.

Thursday

“Star Wars” themed day May the Fourth inspired the Desert Research Institute and the National Atomic Testing Museum to host the free “May the Science Be with You” from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dubbed the city’s official “Star Wars” celebration, the event will feature hands-on activities, scientific presentations, special appearances and food trucks. Colin Cantwell, creator of the Death Star, X-WIng and Tie Fighters and the Millennium Falcon is scheduled to attend and meet with fans of the popular sci-fi film series.

May 5

The crew of the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay will host a behind-the-scenes look at the facility at 6 p.m. Team members will describe how they care for sharks in the middle of the desert, speak about the dangers the species face in the wild and what the Shark Reef is doing to help preserve sharks. Those who attend must register by going to SciFest.vegas/events or by calling 702-384-3611.

May 6

The final day of the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival will end with a bang, with a Giant Science and Technology Expo taking place at Cashman Center. The all-day event will feature hands-on displays, a Rubik’s Cube competition, a dinosaur display and exhibits on technology of the future.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but attendees will have to pay for parking.

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