One of the first celebrations of its kind in the country, the Philadelphia Science Festival is a 10-day celebration of science and technology in everyday places – parks, restaurants, bars, libraries and museums. It asks Philadelphians to question the world around them and aims to inspire not only the next generation of scientists and engineers, but also create homegrown citizen scientists. More than 105 partners are working
together to produce the Festival, which runs April 18-28 is presented by The Dow Chemical Company and organized by The Franklin Institute.
The Festival features dozens of similar hands-on, interactive programs for families. Here are my picks:
SATURDAY, APRIL 20
Great Gigs: Carnival Edition
2-3 PM | Franklin Theater, The Franklin Institute: North 20th Street
The ultimate take-your-child-to-work day! Meet a veterinarian and her chocolate lab and a scientist who tastes chocolate for a living. Plus, hear from a planetary geologist on why her job ROCKS and a ballistics expert who reveals the science behind crime scenes.
MONDAY, APRIL 22
Neighborhood Science After School Eastwick Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Eastwick Branch Library, 2851 Island Avenue
Explore the science of YOU and the world around you! See live animals, learn about your body, and discover the wildlife that lives in your own backyard!
Neighborhood Science After School Independence Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Independence Branch Library, 18 South 7th Street
Explore chemistry in the kitchen, discover life in ancient Greece and Egypt, and learn how to keep your brain and skin healthy.
Neighborhood Science After School Torresdale Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Torresdale Branch Library, 3079 Holme Avenue
Make-and-Take your own nanoscience activity, explore how pollutants on the land wash off and affect the quality of our rivers, and play with educational toys and games.
Neighborhood Science After Widener Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Widener Branch Library, 2808 West Lehigh Avenue
Discover what our bones say about us, examine the effects of weathering on gravestones, and learn how to crack secret codes dating back to da Vinci.
Neighborhood Science After School Wynnefield Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Wynnefield Branch Library, 5325 Overbrook Avenue
Explore the science of YOU and the world around you! Meet live animals, see real specimens, and play a game that shows how your thoughts can affect your body.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23
Great Gigs: Open Labs Edition
12:30-1:30 PM | Drexel University Mandell Theater: 3201 Chestnut Street
What is a typical day at the office for some of the coolest local scientists? Meet a forensic anthropologist who finds evidence at a crime scene and a marine scientist who has explored the oceans deep. Plus, hear from a robotics engineer and his piano playing robots.
Table Top Science
5-9 PM | Earth Bread and Brewery: 7136 Germantown Avenue
Dr. Fred Schaefer hosts a night of hands-on, interactive science lessons filled with chemistry activities and demonstrations, all in the comfort of this neighborhood brew pub.
Neighborhood Science After School Haddington Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Haddington Branch Library, 446 North 65th Street
How do forensic scientists collect and analyze crime scene data? Become a crime scene investigator and create shoe castings, dust for fingerprints, analyze similar fabrics, and learn about genetic testing.
Neighborhood Science After School Lawncrest Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Lawncrest Branch Library, 6098 Rising Sun Avenue
What’s the big deal about the nonoscale? Amazing things happen when you get SUPER SMALL! Make-and- take your own activity and learn how these tiny technologies could have a big impact on your life.
Neighborhood Science After School Queen Memorial Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Queen Memorial Branch Library, 1201 South 23rd Street
Explore the amazing adaptations that aquatic animals have developed to help them survive in their environment. Then, discover how chemicals in foods activiate our taste receptors.
Neighborhood Science After School Richmond Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Richmond Library, 2987 Almond Street
Learn about mummies and how to keep a boat afloat, rattle your mind with a brainteaser, and discover how feathers and hollow bones allow birds to soar!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
Neighborhood Science After School Cecil B. Moore Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Cecil B. Moore Branch Library, 2320 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Touch and examine REAL dinosaur fossils and meet LIVE furry (and not so furry!) friends to learn how animals, both extinct and alive, adapt for survival. Then, put your math skills to the test to write and break secret codes, and learn how to protect your brain while participating in sports.
Neighborhood Science After School Haverford Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Haverford Branch Library, 5543 Haverford Avenue
Meet some furry friends, learn about molecules and how gravity works. Then take a close-up look at insects and spiders to see if you can spot the differences. Take what you’ve learned and create your very own imaginary bug!
Neighborhood Science After School Oak Lane Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Oak Lane Branch Library, 6614 North 12th Street
Learn about chromatography, solve puzzles and use gravity to propel a soda bottle racer. Then, learn about science in ancient Greece by dressing up and working an Archimedes water screw!
Neighborhood Science After School Wyoming Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Wyoming Branch Library, 231 East Wyoming Avenue
Build and launch your very own ROCKET, see architectural robotics and learn what it takes to be an archaeologist. Then, see what makes you, YOU!
THURSDAY, APRIL 25
Science Day at the Ballpark
1:05 PM (Activities begin at 11:00AM) | Citizens Bank Park: 1 Citizens Bank Way
Cheer on the Phillies as you explore the science of sports! How does physics affect a pitch and what type of throw is scientifically the hardest to hit? Before and during the game, visit a dozen hands on activity stations throughout the concourse and outside on Citizens Bank Way.
Neighborhood Science After School Logan Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | Logan Branch Library, 1333 Wagner Avenue
Meet LIVE furry friends and learn about animal habitats, discover how hollow bones and feathers enable birds to fly, and dig in the dirt with a hands-on gardening activity.
Neighborhood Science After School South Philadelphia Branch Library
3:30-5:30 PM | South Philadelphia Branch Library, 1700 South Broad Street
Discover the chemistry in some of your favorite foods, write in secret code, and learn how to keep drinking water safe and clean by protecting water at the source.
FRIDAY APRIL 26
6 – 9:30 PM | 20+ Venues throughout the region, visit philasciencefestival.org for a full list
Grab a blanket and tour the cosmos. Professional and amateur astronomers will bring out their telescopes to show locals the wonders of the night sky. More than 20 venues in and around Philadelphia — from universities to community centers, wildlife refuges to cemeteries — will host star parties. The festivities start at 6:00 in many locations this year, giving families the chance to do some sun gazing.
SATURDAY APRIL 27
Discovery Day: Naturepalooza!
10 AM -2 PM | Schuylkill Center: 8480 Hagys Mill Road
Celebrate all things natural at this family festival honoring Earth Day! The pavilion stage hosts live music, live animal shows, poetry, and special guests. Plus, explore nature with environmental science projects, art, games, and storytelling throughout the day. Bring a piece of nature home from the on site plant sale.
Discovery Day: Science in Clark Park
10 AM -3 PM | Clark Park: 4301 Chester Avenue
Discover science in your own back yard! Meet local scientists and students while exploring the natural wonders of one of the loveliest parks in the city. Hands-on activities illuminate the science of the outdoors – from sun gazing to creepy crawly creatures – this promises to be a great day for the entire family.
Discovery Day: Our Littlest Scientists!
10 AM-4 PM | Please Touch Museum: 4231 Avenue of the Republic
When children explore the world around them, they ask questions and test theories. Children are our best scientists, and free play allows them to learn and discover new things. Join us for a day of science, play, and discovery for our smallest scientists.
Discovery Day: Ciencia y y Mi (Science and Me)
11AM-2 PM | Esperanza College: 4261 North 5th Street
Use your senses to discover science in the world around you! Join the Esperanza community to peek into the hidden powers of everyday materials, smell and taste the science experiments we conduct in our kitchens, and get your hands messy as you discover how simple things like slime can change our lives. Science comes to life in North Philadelphia with interactive, hands-on activities and food from Esperanza College, The Franklin Institute, and Delaware State University. Note: This program will be friendly to Spanish speakers as traslation will be available.
Discovery Day: Be the Detective!
11AM -2 PM | Philadelphia Center for Arts & Technology: 2111 Eastburn Avenue
You be the detective! Use your sleuthing skills to gather evidence and discover how science can help solve crimes. Practice with simulated forensic clues and become a crime scene investigator. Dust for fingerprints, learn how DNA solves crimes, and discover how serology connects your body goo, to you!
SUNDAY APRIL 28
Discovery Day: Science of the Seaport
10 AM-4 PM | Independence Seaport Museum: 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
In William Penn’s original plan for his “greene country towne,” he intended for Philadelphians to be connected to their waterways. Explore the many ways Philadelphia has been influenced by its relationship to water and the rivers that run through the city. Examine the science behind Philadelphia’s history through immigration and genealogy, public health, the spread of diseases, as well as invasive animal and plant species. The historic AJ Meerwald schooner will provide sails throughout the day.
Discovery Day: Urban Farming
11AM -3 PM | Bartram’s Garden: 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard
Growing your own plants or vegetables in the city? Learn how to test your soil, grow food locally, and even how to raise and care for farm animals. Spend the day in the garden with agricultural experts doing taste tests, gardening demonstrations, beekeeping basics and more.
Science Surprises: Vicki Cobb’s One Woman Science Show
2-4 PM | Central Library: 1901 Vine Street
Vicki Cobb’s Science Surprises is a highly entertaining, fast-paced, one-woman show that invites the audience to discover the science in their world. Members of the audience experience illusions and participate in irresistible challenges from her best- selling books. LEAP into science will be running activities after the program. This special program is part of the MARGARET S. HALLORAN FAMILY LITERACY PROGRAMMING SERIES at the Parkway Central Library.
The 3rd Annual Philadelphia Science Festival is sponsored by Dow, Drexel University, FMC Corporation, AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, PECO, PNC, SABIC, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University City Science Center, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Stockton & Partners, Novo Nordisk, University of the Sciences, La Salle University, Quaker Chemical Corporation, ABM, Inc., The Boeing Company, Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, PJM Interconnection, Penn Institute for Urban Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Geosyntec Consultants, Green Mountain Energy Company, NextFab Studio, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, The Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Philadelphia University, Rowan University, The SI Organization, Inc., Thomas Jefferson University, and Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld.
A complete calendar of events is available online at PhilaScienceFestival.org. Tickets are currently on sale, and reservations are being accepted for free events.