When thinking about October, people often picture falling leaves, football, Halloween and everything Pumpkin Spiced. However, for the past four years, the end of October in Bloomington also brings to mind the IU Science Fest, an expansive multi-disciplinary science experience. So what is it about this educational festival that draws thousands of children and adults to IU on a Saturday morning?
The IU Science Fest provides the opportunity for children and adults of all ages to discover and learn more about science. Hundreds of students and faculty volunteers across the IU campus design hands-on activities, allowing visitors to compare the skeletons of different primates, make their own comet, or interact with a green screen. Along with the fun of working on projects yourself, one can also watch several science demo shows put on by different departments around campus. One memorable demonstration show is hosted by the Chemistry Department and I personally always want to know what wacky chemistry is the going to happen next! Will there be a Gummy Bear Sacrifice or unexpected multi-color eruption? Or how did they get that to happen?
If there is still time after some fun activities and exciting shows, members of the public can also tour different facilities and laboratories around campus. People have the opportunity to explore facilities like the Kirkwood Observatory or the chemistry glassblower shop that are normally closed to non-scientists. Research posters line the halls of many buildings, and researchers (graduate students and faculty) will either be participating or be around during the festival. This can give participants the opportunity to meet real-life scientists who can discuss the science behind the Science Fest activities they planned or even the work that they are completing in their own laboratories.
This year’s 5th annual IU Science Fest will be occurring on October 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. across the IU Bloomington campus. The festival has grown every year since its inception, to now include more than 150 science activities in more than 20 different scientific areas! ScIU will also be at the Science Fest working at the Welcome Table in the Student Building. Stop by to visit if you need help finding a building or just want to meet some of the wonderful ScIU bloggers!