Pinhead’s 4th annual Geek Fest fundraiser in Telluride Thursday, July 9

Pinhead’s 4th annual Geek Fest fundraiser in Telluride Thursday, July 9

[click “Play to listen to Marcia Cohen on Geek Fest]

4__#$!@%!#__unknown How the word “pinhead” entered the Telluride lexicon is a matter of conjecture – but all roads lead to L.L. Nunn and his power plants. 

One version of the story suggests the term “pinhead” refers to the original geeks running around Telluride at the turn of the 20th century.  It seems Nunn had developed a work-study program to get alternating current to run his mine, and the initiative was so successful, he bought more mines in Colorado and Utah, spreading his scholars around. Nunn kept track of the whereabouts of his minions by sticking pushpins into maps. 

A geek tends to be odd, overly intellectual – in this country, anyone who prefers arugula to french fries – and generally prefers his computer to other human interests. (A nerd is simply a geek with more RAM and a faster modem.) Geeks tend to wear totemic Clark Kent glasses and are authentically unhip.

On Thursday, July 9, 6:30 p.m., Ah Haa School at the old Depot, 300 South Townsend, the Pinhead Institute, a Smithsonian affiliate institute is hosting its fourth annual Geek Fest: Get Your Green On. The event includes dining, drinks and dancing to DJ Ryan Smith and a silent auction.

2__#$!@%!#__unknown Pinhead is arguably Telluride’s geek haven in town. Its mission statement is clear: the nonprofit is all about promoting community scientific literacy and environmental understanding through educational and participatory activities with scientists and other professionals for students and adults in Southwest Colorado and beyond.

Throughout the school year, the Pinhead Institute brings internationally renowned scientists into our regional schools. Acclaimed scientists lead labs, experiments, workshops, and field expeditions for students in grade school through high school. The program enables students from rural communities throughout the region to interact with PhD scientists from around the world specializing subjects ranging from nanoscience, to biochemistry,  field biology, climatology, and much more.

In collaboration with teachers, the demonstrations and hands-on activities enhance the science curriculum, increase science awareness among students, stimulate scientific thinking and put a human face on the scientific community.

Some of these scientist also work with our Punk Scientists, ages 8  – 12, in a summer program every Tuesday before the Pinhead Town Talks.

Pinhead is also collaborating with the Ah Ha School for the Arts in a new initiative, Art & Science Camp.

Following an intensive application process, Pinhead internships send junior and senior high-schoolers to work with PhD scientists in locations around the globe every summer.

 Proceeds from the 2009 Eco-Geek Fest helps cover costs  associated with running many of its spectacular science-educational programs throughout the region.

Pinhead serves over 1,700 students from five different schools (Nucla/Naturita, Norwood, Telluride, Ridgway, Ouray), providing over 14,000 quality student hours of learning.

To learn more about Pinhead and why attending Geek Fest could make a difference in the world – Hint: America needs more scientists to innovate starting yesterday – click the “play” button and listen to Pinhead board chair Marcia Cohen’s podcast.

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