Meet scientist Ron Estler at Friday’s gathering

At Telluride’s Pinhead Institute, the concepts of science and fun are joined at the hip. In December, as part of  one of Pinhead’s signature programs, Science in the Schools, salad bowls play a major role in an epic Tug-of -War and ping-pong balls levitate like mystics. The mad (and we mean that in a good way) scientist behind games is Dr. Ron Estler.

Estler, Colorado Professor of the Year (2009) and chemistry professor at Fort Lewis College, is also Pinhead’s special guest at the second Science Soiree. The event takes place Friday, December 2, 5:30 – 7 p.m., The River Club.

Science Soirees are a series of gatherings developed by Pinhead to facilitate a connection between the adults in our community and the PhD scientists who come to the Telluride region primarily to interact with our young people. Harvard professor Dr. Andrew Berry was guest of honor at the very first Science Soiree held last month, when, despite a snowstorm and power outage, a great crowd gathered at The River Club to enjoy wine, appetizers and a talk. Dr. Berry was introduced to Pinhead by Chris Anderson, a Norwood native who met the biologist through a Pinhead internship. (Thanks in part to his Pinhead experiences, Chris is now a biology major at Harvard on full scholarship.)

Funds raised at Pinhead’s Science Soirees go directly to support Scholars in the Schools which allows highly acclaimed scientists such as Berry and Estler to lead labs, experiments, workshops, and field expeditions for students in grade school through high school in Nucla, Norwood, Telluride, Ridgway, and Ouray. Estler’s December program, “Under Pressure: Fun with Air and No Air,” includes an updated version of an experiment performed by Otto von Guericke, inventor of the vacuum pump, in 1654.

Pinhead’s Science Soirees are free to the general public, although donations are strongly encouraged and greatly appreciated.

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