Science is as American as … baseball and apple pie. For two weeks in April, dozens of mostly-free programs across Philadelphia will illustrate how vital science is to everyday life, from the technologies behind our favorite pastimes to the chemistry of the foods we eat.
The events are all part of the inaugural Philadelphia Science Festival, presented by The Dow Chemical Company, taking place April 15-28 in an effort to make science and technology more hands-on and accessible. To do that, organizers at The Franklin Institute brought together more than 55 institutions, including University of the Sciences, in an unprecedented collaboration that builds on Philadelphia’s rich history of innovation – and showcases an ambitious range of events.
Festival organizers announced a partial list events and activities slated for the first-annual event, including:
- Science Day at the Ballpark with the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday, April 20, 2011 (rain date TBD) | Citizens Bank Park The Phillies will host a “Science Day” at the ballpark to showcase the athletic side of science. A mix of brains and brawn, events include family activities, science demonstrations set up throughout the concourse and trivia on the giant screen about the science of baseball.
- Astronomy Night Thursday, April 21, 2011 (rain date: Tuesday, April 26) | Multiple locations across Philadelphia Street-corner science with the region’s top astronomers set up at iconic locations across the city. They’ll have their telescopes out so you can take “guided tours” of the stars. Also participating are local amateur astronomy clubs, plus observatories at Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and The Franklin Institute will open to the general public.
- “Genetics: Where East Meets West” with Spencer Wells Sunday, April 17, 2011 | The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Spencer Wells, Ph.D., explorer-in-residence and director of National Geographic Society’s The Genographic Project in Washington, D.C., will discuss the use of genetics in identifying mummies recently excavated from the Tarim Basin desert.
- Murder Mystery Night Thursday, April 28, 2011 | College of Physicians of Philadelphia Discover the thrills of forensic science by participating in your own murder mystery. With help from the Mutter Museum, Philadelphia University, University of the Sciences, University of Pennsylvania and the Association of Women in Forensic Science, you become the detective by collecting and processing evidence to put a killer behind bars.
- Franklin Laureates Quizzo Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | TBD Meet Franklin Laureates past and present as they take to the intense and brutal battle grounds of pub quiz. Teams will have the privilege of getting a “Laureate Ringer” to help them solve an occasional calculus problem or tricky science tidbit.
- Disneynature’s “African Cats” Advance Screening Thursday, April 21, 2011 | The Franklin Institute’s Franklin Theatre The follow-up to Disneynature’s successful films “Earth” and “Oceans,” this movie makes its Philadelphia debut at The Franklin Institute before its national release on Earth Day. Partners, including the Philadelphia Zoo and the African Studies Center at Penn, will be on site with special exhibits and an informal lecture before the screening. ($)
- Science Story Slam Friday, April 15, 2011 | The Parkway Central Library Get experimental with First Person Arts storytellers when they compete against another U.S. city (TBD) to show who has the best storytelling skills. They’ll prove their prowess with stories about science. A joint production with First Person Arts and the Philadelphia Book Festival.
- The Big Jump Friday, April 15, 2011 | Multiple locations across Philadelphia Can Philadelphians work together to trigger a seismic event? Schoolyards throughout the region will become Earth science laboratories, complete with student-constructed seismographs!
- Carnival on the Parkway Saturday, April 16, 2011 (rain or shine) | Around Logan Circle on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway This free, open-air carnival is the official kick-off event, featuring hands-on interactive exhibits and family-friendly activities, plus live entertainment. The Carnival is in conjunction with the Free Library of Philadelphia’s annual Book Festival.
In addition, The Festival will include a series of Science Cafes; lectures with local science and engineering luminaries; walking tours; food-science events at restaurants; and science-based performances. There will also be Neighborhood Science events in more than 50 community centers, parks, gardens and Free Library branches across the region. A complete list of events will be available in early-March.
The Festival is being presented by The Dow Chemical Company with additional support by Drexel University, GlaxoSmithKline, Day & Zimmermann, Philadelphia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, University of the Sciences and La Salle University.
To learn more, call 215-448-1128 or visit PhilaScienceFestival.org, where you can sign up for updates on upcoming events. The Festival is also on Facebook and Twitter; search PHLScienceFest.
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA SCIENCE FESTIVAL
The Philadelphia Science Festival is a city-wide collaboration April 15-28, 2011 showcasing science and technology. Part of a national movement to make science hands-on and accessible, the Festival builds on Philadelphia’s rich history of innovation with dozens of free events at museums, schools, libraries and even street corners and concert halls. The inaugural Festival is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and The Dow Chemical Company and supported by more than 55 universities, museums and cultural and community centers across the city. The Franklin Institute is leading the effort. To learn more, visit PhilaScienceFestival.org or call 215-448-1128.