Check out photos from our cover shoot and a video of Frederic Bertley making “elephant toothpaste.”

When planning the Spring 2019 issue, we wanted a fun and dynamic cover to celebrate our relaunch as a glossy publication. The photo also had to represent our popular annual Summer Camp Guide, which makes up a significant part of the content.

And so we asked Frederic Bertley, COSI’s dynamic president and CEO, to do a science experiment for us. STEM camps continue to be hot, and COSI offers almost two dozen different summer programs, which last year were attended by 750 students. Bertley, whose love of science and infectious enthusiasm are well-known throughout Central Ohio, agreed to make “elephant toothpaste” during a photo shoot at COSI that took place Jan. 30 during the polar vortex.

“Elephant toothpaste” is an experiment that COSI uses as a demonstration in Messy Science camp for grades K-1 and in Chemistry camp, where students in grades 4-5 get to do smaller versions of the experiment themselves.  The experiment uses hydrogen peroxide, dye and dish soap (to create the foamy texture); potassium iodide is the catalyst that makes the magic happen.

We had a lot of fun with Bertley, director of communications Jaclyn Reynolds and two members of COSI’s camp team: Rebecca Kelly, manager of camp programs, and Jessica Takos, camp programs specialist. Bertley did the experiment twice, and Kelly and Takos joined him for a third and final take (you’ll find it in the slideshow).

Check out the slideshow for a look at Bertley’s custom COSI-themed Converse tennis shoes, and watch the experiment in the accompanying video.

Thanks to COSI for indulging our request. And don’t forget about the COSI Science Festival, a first-of-its-kind, three-day, communitywide collaboration to raise awareness about the importance of science. Learn more about the May 1-4 event at