Pinhead: Periodic Table, Really Fun?

Pinhead: Periodic Table, Really Fun?

The Pinhead Institute’s Punk Science program brings chemistry and more to kids at the Wilkinson Public Library every Tuesday starting July 5 through August 2.PH 2016 Punk Science July 5-6 Telluride Letter copy

Not only is the periodic table the most important chemistry reference there is, it also proves to be a whole lot of fun – especially for kids. In fact, so is all of science when it’s presented in informal, interactive, read kid-centric, ways.

That’s what the Pinhead Institute aims to do next Tuesday, July 5, and every Tuesday evening through August 2, when it presents “A Lively Tour of the Periodic Table” and other fascinating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) topics during its annual summer Punk Science learning series for kids on the Wilkinson Public Library Plaza.

“Our Punk Science talks are a popular program with families because the kids get to participate and get their hands on the actual science presented, from cow hearts to whatever the lesson brings,” said Pinhead Institute Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke.

Next week, John Straub, PhD., a professor of chemistry at Boston University (where he heads his own lab), will help kids of all ages explore the diverse properties of the chemical elements through the use of historical accounts and exciting experiments during a thrilling and sometimes pyrotechnical presentation, 5:15 to 6:00 p.m.

“John’s recent presentation to the fourth-graders in Telluride was a smash-bang success, and included exploding gummy bears along with a stupendous science lesson,” Holbrooke explained. “We’re thrilled he decided to come back this summer to provide more chemical mayhem and learning.”

In addition to Punk Science, Straub will also lead Pinhead/Telluride Academy’s joint “Blast Off” summer camp, July 5 – 8, when campers ages nine to 11 will create a unique rocket design and build a never-before-seen-or-flown rocket. The camp culminates with a “rocket day” launch celebration. There are still a few spaces left for fledgling rocket scientists. Go here for registration information.

Straub’s Punk Science program will be followed by other weekly presentations featuring high-level scientists and STEM specialists on a wide range of topics, including Southwest rock art from an archaeological perspective, bear science, data analytics, and more.

This season, Pinhead is also thrilled to host a Punk Science presentation on Permafrost and Climate Change by Max Holmes, Ph.D., Wednesday, July 20. Holmes is an earth system scientist from the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Mass., which was recently named the world’s top climate change think tank for a third year in a row by the International Center for Climate Governance.

“Max is a new presenter for us and proof that Pinhead attracts the best scientific minds to inform and inspire children in the region,” Holbrooke continued.

And as if walking away with an appreciation for the wonders of science weren’t enough, one lucky child with perfect attendence at all programs will also head home with a GoPro camera.

“We are lucky to have captured the attention of sponsors as lofty as GoPro and are thrilled to have such a stupendous incentive,” Holbrooke said.

The Pinhead Institue Punk Science series takes place at the Wilkinson Public Library Plaza from 5:15 to 6:00 PM on Tuesdays throughout August 2. Admission is open to children of all ages and their parents or guardians; a $2 donation is suggested.

More about Pinhead:

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.

To learn more visit: or call 970-369-5190.

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