Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Atlanta Science Festival offers formula for fun

Emory chemist Doug Mulford gets kids fired up for science during a demonstration at last year's Atlanta Science Festival. Emory Photo/Video

By Carol Clark

Start with a beaker as big as metro Atlanta. Add scientists, artists, music, dance, robots, games, movies, lab tours and chances to try new technology and conduct fun experiments. Throw in some liquid nitrogen ice cream, giant soap bubbles and Tibetan momos. Now mix with hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers and thousands of curious people of all ages. Finally, jump in yourself.

The Atlanta Science Festival is back, March 21-28, with its ever-evolving formula for fascination and fun. The eight-day celebration of local science and technology encompasses more than 120 events at 70 venues throughout Atlanta, including many on the Emory campus. The festival culminates in the Exploration Expo at Centennial Park on Saturday, March 28.

“We want to help our community become proud of the resources, research and discoveries happening here, and all the opportunities for careers,” says Jordan Rose, co-director of the festival and associate director of the Emory College Center for Science Education. “The more we can connect people to local scientists and their innovations, the more people can get excited about science in general.”

Last year, 30,000 people attended the week-long inaugural Atlanta Science Festival, including 16,000 who came to the Exploration Expo, which was chaired by Emory chemist Monya Ruffin. "It’s hard to predict attendance this year for all of the events over eight days, but we’re expecting at least 20,000 people for the Expo alone,” Rose says. “It’s going to be a busy day at the park.”

About 20 booths at the Expo will feature Emory science faculty and students. ChEmory, for example — the outreach group made up of Emory chemistry undergraduates — will return with its popular dance pit. Kids can kick their shoes off and experience moving to music through a non-Newtonian fluid.

Several events are scheduled on the Emory campus on Saturday, March 21, targeting both adults and children. You can find details about all the Emory events here.

Read more in Emory Report.

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