23 Mar UW show to give public a go at cutting-edge science
Science Expeditions, the kick-off for a month-long series of events at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will show off science to the public in the Engineering Centers Building on April 2.
The event will feature 40 “exploration stations” and three “science spectaculars”, all free, non-ticketed, and open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m.
“It’s a big sort of circus of science, basically,” said Tricia Dickenson, marketing director for UW Communications.
The third annual Science Expeditions was moved to the new venue to accommodate its growth. Last year, about 1,000 people attended, organizers said.
“It’s all about hospitality and welcoming people to campus to experience science,” said Tom Zinnen, an event organizer and an outreach specialist for the university’s Biotechnology Center. “It’s all about science, so families, individuals, anyone who’s interested, we’re glad to welcome them.”
Zinnen said the people staffing the exploration stations would use puzzles and parables instead of explaining everything, and visitors will be encouraged to experiment themselves.
The event’s other main attractions are shows that will feature chemistry, physics, and biology. The “Science is Fun” chemistry show and the “Wonders of Physics” show will be held in auditoriums that seat 150 with tables outside demonstrating equipment.
The third show, “The Kiss of Life: In Vitro Fertilization” will focus on fertilization of livestock. It is set up to include a series of one-on-one events, and the other two shows will also include audience volunteers.
“The kickoff event on April 2 is focused on all ages. … While many events are designed for to families, there are lectures and other things that would appeal to older people,” Dickenson said. “A lot of tremendous research and learning occurs on campus.”
Other expositions will include:
• The “icon of microbiology,” the adjustable micropipe – a Wisconsin innovation
• An imaging station at which people will map their own faces with ultraviolet light scanners
• One of the three types of DNA microarray chips, another Wisconsin invention
• The differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and diagnostics done with adult stem cells
Zinnen prefers not to make a distinction between technology and science, because technology, he said, is just the application of our scientific knowledge into new inventions.
“Technology is the study of tools, and if we’re talking about science and engineering it’s looking at how you take what you know and making it into something new and useful,” he said.