When a festival issues a press releases, promising to transform “schoolyards, theaters, and even a Major League ballpark, into hands-on laboratories for learning,” the Geekadelphia crew absolutely listen up. The Philadelphia Science Festival is still a few months off, but me and the Geeks? We’re having a hard time containing our excitement.
For two weeks in April (the 15th – 28th), dozens of (mostly) free programs will launch around Philadelphia, demonstrating the importance of science in everyday life. And with over 50 institutions signed up… yeah, get psyched kids.
Here’s a handful of the events announced last week.
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.
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 Philadelphia Police Department’s Forensic Unit, you become the detective by collecting and processing evidence to put a killer behind bars.
Disneynature’s “African Cats” Philadelphia Premiere
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 premiere 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.
And that… that’s nothing compared to what the full list will look like as the festival gets closer. To keep up to date on all that’s going on with the Philadelphia Science Festival, bookmark their website. You can sign up for updates on upcoming events. You can also follow the festival on Twitter via @PHLScienceFest.
Philadelphia Science Festival
April 15th – 28th, 2011