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IU Bloomington campus to host fifth annual Science Fest

For Immediate Release Oct 22, 2018

Indiana University will welcome children and families from across Indiana on Oct. 27 for the fifth annual IU Science Fest.

Children learning about electrical communication in fish
Children at IU Science Fest learn how some fish use weak electrical fields to communicate.Photo by Marc Lebryk, Indiana University

This free event, hosted by the IU College of Arts and Sciences, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Bloomington campus. No registration is required, and groups are encouraged to attend.

This year’s event will feature over 150 activities in 26 different scientific areas hosted by more than 550 volunteers. Events include annual favorites such as the chemistry magic show, low-temperature physics demonstration, “volcano eruption” and the chance to safely view the sun using the giant telescope in Kirkwood Observatory.

IU Science Fest will also highlight some of the university’s latest facilities and technologies, including the opportunity to explore the 3D printing lab at the IU School of Education, discover geology using augmented reality, play with motion-capture technology at The Media School and control race cars with brain waves. Other hands-on events include carving stone tools with an archaeologist and learning to make bread and pickles using fermentation.

Activities for older children and adults will include “Science Café,” a series of short-format science talks designed to inform and inspire. Topics and speakers are:

  • “Artificial Molecular Machines” presented by Amar Flood, James F. Jackson Professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry.
  • “The ABCs of CBD” presented by Heather Bradshaw, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
  • “Why Fruit Flies Are Much More Than an Annoyance in Your Kitchen,” by Dan Tracey, professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology.

Also targeted to older junior high- and high school-aged attendees is “Talk Nerdy To Me,” which will showcase “inspiring, embarrassing, fun and, most importantly, honest” stories from IU scientists about their personal journeys to become scientists. Members of the IU Admissions Office will be present at the event to answer questions.

A complete schedule is available on the IU Science Fest website. Site visitors can also learn more about specific events, view campus maps and create a personalized itinerary.

Welcoming the community to campus to celebrate science has been a tradition at IU Bloomington since the 1960s, when the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics held its first “open house,” joined later by many other departments. The event was renamed Science Fest in 2014.

Among groups hosting events at this year’s Science Fest are the departments of anthropology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth and atmospheric sciences, history and philosophy of science and medicine, mathematics, physics, psychological and brain sciences, and speech and hearing sciences in the IU College of Arts and Sciences; the IU School of Art, Architecture + Design; the IU School of Education; The Media School; the IU School of Nursing; the IU School of Optometry; and the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Additional participants include Baxter International Inc., the Bloomington Urban Woods Project, the IU Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes, the IU Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, the IU Center of Excellence for Women in Technology, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey, the IU Environmental Resilience Institute, the IU Food Institute, the IU Integrated Program in the Environment, the IU Journal of Undergraduate Research, the IU Libraries’ Slocum Puzzle Collection, and WTIU.

Media Contact

IU Newsroom

Kevin Fryling

Senior storyteller
IU Office of Science Outreach

Leigh Krietsch Boerner

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