Cool Time Had By Discovery Center Visitors

SPRINGFIELD, MO | Sunday, July 15, 2007

Einstein on Ice fundraiser raises money for a dry ice machine for experiments, exhibits.

Springfield area kids and adults alike had a sublime time Saturday at the Discovery Center's Einstein On Ice.

But they had to be careful not to let the "sublimation" burn their fingertips.

"Dry ice sublimes; it does not melt or evaporate," said Angela Moeller, an outreach educator at the center.

In the process of sublimation, the frozen form of carbon dioxide goes directly from a solid to a gas.

With surface temperatures as low as 109.3 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, dry ice can be hazardous to handle without insulated gloves.

"I wouldn't hold it with my bare hands," said 11-year-old Reid McCain, who attended the Saturday event.

Charlotte McCoy, director of marketing and special events for the center, said the center looks forward to its annual fundraising event all year round.

This year's fundraising goal is $2,500 to put toward a dry ice machine for the center. "We purchase a lot of dry ice a year for our experiments and exhibits, so the purchase of a machine will be a great investment for the center," McCoy said.

One of the many exhibits purchased with money raised during these annual fundraisers is "Capture the Shadow," a room where shadows are frozen through the use of a flash and photosensitive wall covering to be viewed for many seconds after a person has moved.

Another purchase is a working beehive. During its time at the center, the hive has housed two queens and split once, according to McCoy.

McCoy emphasizes the fun available to all ages at the center. "There are a lot of fun and neat things that adults can learn here," she said. "I learn something new every day." Courtney Lindsay, a Glendale sophomore, is proof that people of all ages can have a great time learning at the interactive exhibits. "I love it here. I can actually learn things while doing them," she said.

In addition to the cool time being had with the dry ice, visitors were treated to Andy's Frozen Custard, which was one of the event's sponsors.

Emily Fox, executive director of the Discovery Center, is thankful for the day's turnout and the help of the community. "As a result of efforts like this and the generosity of the community, we can do a lot more experiments on a daily basis," she said.

McCoy seconds this. "Our members and staff appreciate the opportunity to raise money to contribute to new exhibits at the center." she said. "Without sponsors and community partnerships like this, we would not be where we are today." Above all else, every visitor is encouraged to have fun while learning new things at the center. Kimberly Hunt of Springfield, a visitor Saturday, considers that mission accomplished.

"What a great place to bring your family. It's fun," she said.

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