Colorado Springs Science Center
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Science on Tap

Monthly Science and Technology Presentations and Discussions

Science on Tap Logo Join the Colorado Springs Science Center for Science on Tap every 2nd Monday of the month at Jack Quinn’s in downtown Colorado Springs.  A wide variety of fascinating topics are presented by local scientists for informal discussion, and the relaxed atmosphere encourages anyone and everyone to come explore the latest ideas in science and technology.  From practical to theoretical, the presentations and group interactions provide a fun and interesting way to gain an understanding of the world around us.


Upcoming presentations: 

The Saga of the Tava: An account of a geological quest and the discovery of a ‘new’ rock formation in Colorado

December 8, 2014
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Jack Quinn's Irish Alehouse & Pub

Dr. Christine Siddoway
Dept Geology / Colorado College

This conversation will center upon a perplexing rock formation that exists around the base of Pikes Peak. Named Tava sandstone, this sedimentary rock exists as intrusions within the ancient granites that form the backbone of the Front Range. The age and origin of the Tava sandstone have eluded Colorado geologists for more than 120 years. New research by Colorado College investigators reveals key evidence bearing on the mode of formation of Tava sandstone, and new technology has allowed us to determine the Tava’s AGE. Both results are utterly surprising, and they open a chapter of the geological history of Colorado that has been obscured by time. Come to SoT to experience a bit of the ‘research roller coaster’ yourself, and hear about the provocative results!

Christine Siddoway is a CC professor who’s been grappling with a geological enigma for more than 10 years. She says she’d have liked to ignore the problem of the Tava sandstone entirely, but it kept showing up underfoot when she was out walking her dogs on local trails, or cycling on the canyon roads. The Tava sandstone got under her skin, making it impossible not to grapple with its challenge. At long last — and with the help of many CC students-- major breakthroughs have come. And, as is the nature of science, equally stimulating new questions now arise!

The E-True Hollywood Story of NASA Missions: How the Sausage is Made and the Future of U.S. Human and Robotic Exploration

January 12, 2015
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Jack Quinn's Irish Alehouse & Pub

Dr. Scott Rafkin
Program Director, Southwest Research Institute

The public face of space exploration often belies the politically-charged reality of NASA missions.  The politics, which occur both within the scientific community and within the government, affect every aspect of the exploration endeavor from mission conception to completion, influence how information and data are distributed, and often run counter to scientific protocol.  This talk will describe the NASA mission development and operation process, using specific examples from NASA’s recent mission portfolio, and will demonstrate how politics is inextricably intertwined with future human and robotic space exploration.

Dr. Scot Rafkin holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.  He is a Program Director and Assistant Director at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where he develops and applies weather and climate models to study the atmospheres of Mars, Titan, Venus and Pluto.  He is the Project Scientist for the Radiation Assessment Detector experiment on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity, and has been involved in numerous previous Mars missions.  Dr. Rafkin is the current Co-Chair of the Exploration Science Advisory Group that is tasked with providing to NASA prioritized atmospheric exploration goals for Mars, and he has served on over a dozen NASA panels and committees.

Science on Tap is a free event and reservations are not required; however, you’ll need to pay for any drinks and food.  Jack Quinn’s is located downtown at 21 S. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO, 80903.