Posted: Sep 21, 2013 11:31 PM by Keele Smith - MTN News
BOZEMAN - The Space Race helped kicked off an event that celebrates science and engineering in the Gallatin Valley.
The first annual Montana Science and Engineering Festival held on Saturday, is set to become an annual event.
Science lover Ruby West said, "I learned that there's telescopes that can look directly onto the sun. It's awesome. I looked through one."
West is one of hundreds of people at the festival on Saturday.
The Montana Space Grant Consortium spearheaded the event and is a major reason for the festival trying to set a new record for the world's largest astronomy class.
In order to beat the current world record, they needed 527 people at Saturday's class.
Unfortunately though, the assembled crowd wasn't large enough to set a new record.
But this year's professor is confident it will happen eventually.
"I know we can beat that record, if we either did it today or if we didn't, we'll do it again next year," MSU Physics professor Charles Kankelborg said.
Organizers said they plan to put the festival on every year to help science and engineering graduates network.
Festival Coordinators Connie Depner said, "Anything that in anyway is considered science, we wanted to have here so there can be more collaboration and then also more connection with local companies."
The festival is already helping the MSU Lunabotics teams raise money for a national competition in May.
But for one member, that is not the best part.
Jennifer Hoff, of the Lunabotics teams said, "It's just been great having kids come over so interested in all this lunar stuff and just being able to help them answer any questions that they have and just feeling their enthusiasm."
The festival is also a great resource for kids dreaming of a career in science.
"I'm planning on being a scientist or a mathematician or an astronaut when I grow up," West said.