Nebraska Science Festival to Offer Activities for All Ages


April’s statewide festival promises science-related fun

Excitement is building for the 2024 Nebraska Science Festival.

Mark your calendars for a myriad of science and technology-related activities scheduled throughout the month of April. 

Launched in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the statewide festival allows participants to discover the importance of science and how it is intertwined in their daily lives. Activities – scheduled in communities across the state – are interactive, relevant and fun for kids and adults. 

Visit the Nebraska Science Festival website for a full and detailed list of activities, including opportunities to view an eclipse ‘up close’ through safe solar telescopes (April 8), tour a recycling center (April 19), do hands-on science activities at the public expo (April 27).

While many events are free, some require reservations (via the website). While there you’ll find the following events (and many more):

  • Omaha Science Café – Max Kurz, PhD, scientist in the Institute for Human Neuroscience and director of the Physiology of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation Laboratory at the Boys Town Institute for Human Neuroscience, will present “The Brain That Heals Itself” on April 2 at the Slowdown in Omaha. This free event is open to anyone 21 years and older. 
  • Open House at the UNL Student Observatory – On April 5 and 19, see the stars, planets and moon from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
  • Science Sundays – Stop by the Omaha RiverFront in Omaha each Sunday for hands-on, family-friendly science activities, while supplies last.
  • The Great American Eclipse Viewing at Branched Oak Observatory – A unique chance to see the April 8 eclipse “up close” through safe solar telescopes.
  • Introduction to Falconry – Learn about the ancient sport of falconry at the Kearney Public Library on April 11.
  • Third Tuesday Bird Outings – Join a knowledgeable bird guide on the April 16 outing around the accessible trails at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon in Denton, Nebraska.
  • Boys Town Hall of History – Learn about various science topics each week ranging from comic books and magnifying glasses to windmills and blueprints.
  • Lucky Bucket Brewing Tours – A lot of things (and science) go in to making great beer and spirits. Sign up for a Saturday tour and learn more about the craft.
  • Return of the Thunderbirds – Join us April 13 at the Indian Center, Inc. in Lincoln for a cross-cultural community event celebrating the return of rain, thunder, spring and bird migration.
  • G. Stanley Hall Science Night – Enjoy hands-on science stations throughout the La Vista, Nebraska, school on April 18.
  • First Star Recycling Tour – On April 19, visit Omaha’s leading recycling center. This is currently sold out.
  • SCC Family Night – Celebrate Earth Day with hands-on science activities on April 22 at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Science Trivia at Legend Comics and Coffee – Grab your thinking caps for a night of science trivia on April 24.
  • Metropolitan Community College Science Day – Stop by the South Omaha Campus on April 27 for hands-on activities.
  • Public Science Expo at The Durham Museum — The free, in-person public expo on April 27 will feature a variety of hands-on science activities. Admission is free, although tickets are required.
  • Breathe Easy: Respiratory Therapists and the Evolution of a Profession – This April 29 event, presented by UNMC’s new Master of Respiratory Care program, features the movie “Breathe,” starring Andrew Garfield, followed by a professional panel on ethics, quality, safety, patient-centered care and audience questions. Seats are limited; RSVPs encouraged for the event at Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater in Omaha.
  • SciFest Flavor of the Month – Love ice cream? Throughout April, eCreamery will sell its SciFest Flavor of the Month called Animal House. The tasty treat features cake mix ice cream, frosted animal crackers and cookie dough.
  • Plus, numerous events hosted by the Omaha Public Library including Space: It’s Out of This World (designed for kindergarten through fifth-grade students; registration required).

Activities will be promoted on the Nebraska Science Festival website, as well as on X, formerly known as Twitter,` and Facebook. Events are continually being added, so visit often for updates or to see if reservations or tickets are required.

Presented by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Science Festival is a collaboration of organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of science literacy. In addition to UNMC, other sponsors, to date, are Boys Town, Metro Credit Union, KETV and the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Statewide events throughout April

Throughout April, SciFest also offers a variety of statewide events including:

  • Art Contest – Discover the intersection of art and science in this year’s art contest. Create artwork that reflects your favorite animal and be entered to win NE SciFest swag.
  • Walk to the Moon Challenge – Show your love of science by participating in a 30-day exercise challenge that collectively will take Nebraska participants to the moon. The challenge will start April 1 and end on April 30. Any type of exercise will count (miles, minutes or steps) and all exercise will be converted into steps for the challenge. The challenge is to collectively cover 238,855 miles, or 477,710,000 steps, so plan your exercise schedule and submit your steps. 
  • Essay Contest – Anyone 19 and younger who lives in Nebraska and is enrolled in a public, private or home school may participate. Visit the SciFest website for details.
  • Social Media Trivia – A science trivia question will be posted daily throughout April on SciFest’s social media pages.
  • Statewide Scavenger Hunt – Go out and search for science. To participate, simply complete a series of questions during the month of April.