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Boys Town a sponsor of 2023 Nebraska Science Festival (SciFest)


Ken Jennings

Thursday, June 8, 2023

​​​​​​Boys Town was a proud sponsor of the 2023 Nebraska Science Festival (SciFest). SciFest is a month-long celebration of science with more than 60 events across the state. The goal of SciFest is to make science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages. As a platinum sponsor, Boys Town hosted seven SciFest events including hands-on activities, informative presentations and tours of our research facilities.

SciFest kicked off with the Science Café, a collaborative event hosted by Boys Town at the Slowdown. Gaelle Doucet, Ph.D., Director of the Brain Architecture, Imaging and Cognition Laboratory at the Institute for H​uman Neuroscience, presented “Understanding the Aging Brain" to a full house. Dr. Doucet explained how the brain ages from childhood through late life with a focus on formation during adolescent years.

Later that week, Boys Town hosted the SciFest keynote presentation featuring Ken Jennings, Jeopardy legend and game show host. The Boys Town Music Hall was full with 650 guests in attendance to listen to Ken speak on the topic “Artificial Intelligence: Are Humans in Jeopardy?"

Thomas Lynch, Boys Town Historian, explained the “Science of Relics" which focused on the potential relics of Father Flanagan.

Visitors toured t​he anechoic chamber at Boys Town; the Boys Town Hearing RV, where they could take a free hearing test; the Institute for Human Neuroscience, where they viewed the recently added OPM machine; and the Center for Human Performance Optimization, where guests experienced hands-on state-of-the-art physical therapy equipment.

The final event was the SciFest Public Expo at the Durham Museum. Boys Town staff from research, audiology, neurology and speech and language shared their love of science through interactive demonstrations. The Boys Town Fire Department, Boys Town Police Department and Boys Town Security Team were on-side for guests to check out, as well as the Boys Town Hearing RV.

Throughout the month, hands-on activities for children and adults were offered at the Hall of History. Activities included learning about physics by playing with marbles, interacting with the print press to learn about ink pressing and more. The Overlook Café even joined in the fun by offering science-themed breakfasts.​


Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Director of Audibility, Perception and Cognition Laboratory was excited that Boys Town had such a big role in Nebraska SciFest.

“NE SciFest was incredible this year, and Boys Town was really proud to be a sponsor and a major contributor to many of the events," Dr. McCreery said. “Science and research are a huge part of our mission, and NE SciFest does an amazing job of increasing enthusiasm for and awareness of the cutting-edge research that's happening right here in our community."​