Top, Kitiara Williams, 4, and her dad Ben launch a miniature fruitcake from a model catapult during the Mini-Fruitcake Toss for kids sponsored by Cool Science last Saturday at the Manitou Art Center. Above, Jayla Venavidez, left, and her sister Ayrionna try out their model catapult.
Photos by Larry Ferguson
Cool Science, a Colorado Springs-based group of volunteers that encourages kids to get involved in science and engineering projects, scored a public relations victory last Saturday by expanding its Mini-Fruitcake Toss for Kids to fill the void left by the cancellation of The Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss.
“We’ve been a small part of the annual Fruitcake Toss in recent years,” said Cool Science executive director Marc Straub. “This year we had a chance to step into the spotlight.”
More than a hundred children and their parents turned out for the group’s Mini-Fruitcake Toss at the Manitou Art Center. They built small model catapults and participated in a friendly competition of launching miniature fruitcakes and marshmallows for distance and accuracy.
All the necessary materials to build the model catapults, as well as the miniature fruitcakes and marshmallows, were provided free of charge by Cool Science. Volunteers were on hand to help kids and parents put together the model catapults.
The Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss, an annual event at the high school that in the past has received nationwide publicity, was cancelled this year because of a reported lack of participants, according to the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, the event’s sponsor.
Cool Science volunteers, consisting of students, parents and teachers, are from Colorado College, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Intel Corporation, Lewis Palmer High School and the Society of Women Engineers, according to the group’s Web page at www.coolscience.org.
The nonprofit group, founded in 2001, provides a wide variety of interactive science programs and workshops in schools and at various public venues.
Last Saturday’s program at the MAC was open to children of all ages.
“It’s all about getting kids interested in science,” Straub said.