Whitehall is but one of the many central Ohio communities participating in COSI's four-day Science Festival, set May 1-4, culminating with outdoor activities on the streets around COSI on the final day.

Whitehall will play host to three public events Friday, May 3, and another for Whitehall City Schools, said Kaitlyn Majewski, science festival manager for COSI.

These events were not possible without collaboration from leaders in each of the communities where COSI is staging the events, said Frederic Bertley, president and CEO of COSI.

"COSI cannot put on this festival of four days of events ... by ourselves," he said. "The key to make this work is through partnerships; they've been our bread and butter.

"That includes 12 city mayors that have agreed to work with us," Bertley said.

"Putting this on at this scale has been possible through the partnerships we've been able to set up," he said, adding that more support came from organizations and municipalities that "speak the STEM language."

"STEM" stands for "science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Whitehall's activities are the end result of lots of planning, Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said.

"The city has been working for the past nine months to collaborate with COSI on the four-day festival," she said, including fire Chief Preston Moore, who stepped forward to offer his rocket-launching skills.

Moore, who has led rocket-building classes at Whitehall Community Park, was named a "STEM Star" by COSI last year.

Each of the 12 cities participating in COSI's Science Festival nominated a STEM Star who also serves as a grand marshal for activities during the festival, Majewski said.

Public events in Whitehall include "Be a Scientist" at the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 4445 E. Broad St.; as well as "Be a Rocket Scientist with Chief Moore" and the "Citywide Star Party."

The latter two events will be held at Whitehall Community Park, 402 N. Hamilton Road.

All three events are free, but "Be a Rocket Scientist" requires registration by calling 614-863-0121.

"Be a Scientist" will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. May 3 at the Whitehall library.

The program is part of the library system's Homework Help Center and will focus on ecology, Majewski said.

"The Columbus Metropolitan Library and COSI share the common goal of encouraging young minds to follow their curiosity," said Ben Zenitsky, marketing and communications specialist for the library system.

"Be a Rocket Scientist," led by Moore, will be offered from 6 to 7 p.m. May 3 at Whitehall Community Park and provide children with the opportunity to build a model rocket.

Moore will show how to assemble the model rocket and demonstrate several launches, but children will not be able to launch their own rockets at the event, Majewski said.

Whitehall's events will end with the "Citywide Star Party" from 6:30 to 10 p.m. May 3 at Community Park.

The city will provide some of its own programming and COSI will "bring the telescopes and the astronomers" to the park, Majewski said.

The party also will include food, music, bounce houses, nature walks, disc golf and demonstrations with live birds of prey.

COSI officials said the events in each community are designed to make science personal.

There will be no events where "someone is just going to hand you a flier," Bertley said.

"These are all hands-on, interactive, participatory events," he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo