Cool Science's mission is to get Pikes Peak area students, parents and teachers engaged in exciting and thought provoking hands-on activities designed to provide intimidation-free opportunities to explore the joy of science and engineering.
Cool Science was founded in 2002 by Jennifer Rivers, an Intel engineer with a passion for bringing real hands-on science into schools. Intel had been searching for a way to give back to the local community while promoting STEM education, and Jennifer was excited to take the lead in making this happen. She teamed with chemistry professors from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Colorado College to begin offering free chemistry demonstrations in local elementary and middle schools. She also helped Colorado College students organize their own Cool Science Club, providing a ready pool of volunteers for our programs in addition to the Intel scientists and engineers that Jennifer recruited.
In 2005 Cool Science began funding a Colorado College para-professional within the Chemistry department, essentially a paid intern working exclusively for us and serving as Programs Director under the guidance of our board. Up to this point Cool Science had been run entirely by volunteers, but with a skilled full-time staff person for most of the year we could now significantly increase the number and types of programs offered to schools.
In 2006 the Intel Corporation closed all operations in Colorado, including the manufacturing plant in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately this had a devastating impact on Cool Science, as we lost not only the bulk of our funding, but most of our professional volunteers as well. Though it was a tremendous struggle, we were able to continue providing- and eventually even expanding- our programs, thanks to other donors and to our committed and passionate board members and volunteers. By keeping our operating expenses very low and working hard to recruit new volunteers we have now rebounded stronger than ever.
"Knowledgeable science combined with dynamic presentation methods! Good job!" - George (Parent)
"I LOVED your class last night and am jumping out of my skin in anticipation of being able to do the experiments with my kids!" -Parent/Teacher Training Night participant
"I think that this was a cool way to get kids interested in science and crime investigations. I really felt like an investigator! Cool Science Rocks!" - Morgan (age 12)
"I wish Science Day was every day" - Madison (3rd grade)