Cambridge Science Festival


Cambridge Science Festival at the MIT Museum

April 17-26, 2015

The Cambridge Science Festival is presented by the MIT Museum in collaboration with the City of Cambridge, community organizations, schools, universities and businesses. Public TV & radio, the libraries, small kids and big kids – everyone gets in on the action!

Throughout the Cambridge Science Festival, the MIT Museum hosts a range of performances, discussions, and workshops and activities.

Registration for workshops is now open!

Workshop Participants: Please download our Liability Release and provide us with a copy upon your arrival.


2015 Festival Programs at the MIT Museum

For information on 2015 festival events at the MIT Museum, please refer to the schedule and event descriptions below. (For festival events elsewhere, please visit the Cambridge Science Festival website.) Unless otherwise noted, all programs are free with Museum admission. Admission throughout the festival is $10.00/adult and $5.00/youth, students, and seniors.

 

Friday 4/17 | Saturday 4/18 | Sunday 4/19 | Monday 4/20 | Tuesday 4/21 | Wednesday 4/22 | Thursday 4/23 | Friday 4/24 | Saturday 4/25 | Sunday 4/26


Friday, April 17

7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Location:
First Parish in Cambridge, 1446 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

Speaking of Einstein

Kick off the 2015 Cambridge Science Festival with a discussion by four influential physicists about how Einstein's work shaped the world we live in today and where his influence will continue to push the frontiers of science in the future!

Panelists include:
Lisa Randall | Professor of Physics, Harvard University
Priyamvada Natarajan | Professor of Astronomy & Physics, Yale University
Clifford Will | Professor of Physics, University of Florida
Peter Galison | Professor of History of Science, Harvard University
David Kaiser | Professor of the History of Science, MIT

Please note that this event will take place at the First Parish in Cambridge, 1446 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Please pre-purchase tickets ($10/adult, $5/student).


Saturday, April 18

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Marvelous Molecules In Play

Experience a selection of live chemical reactions and the explanations behind them. This show may include the knock your sox off reaction, smoking gun, carbon dioxide shower, attempted encapsulation of a child in a CO2 film bubble, trial of a gummy bear, tick-tock reaction, and much more! Audience participation is encouraged. Sponsored by the MIT Chemistry Department & MIT Alumni Association / Club of Boston.

12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Workshop: Sculpture Racing

Get ready to design and build your own racing sculpture! Sculpture Racing is a climactic intersection of art and engineering, in which racers push, pull, or pedal wheeled artworks. Learn sculpture racing history, engage in artistic brainstorming, and learn about design basics and the challenges of making wheeled vehicles. Design and initial construction will take place within collaborative teams. Finish off your piece and return to the MIT Museum on Sunday, April 26, to exhibit your handiwork! Middle school teens should be accompanied by an adult to help guide the use of tools and materials (minimum one adult with three teens).

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Reinventing A Genre: Pushing the Limits of Science Writing

More than ever before, science writers are pushing the boundaries of traditional style into new territory, from fiction to webcomics to film. What are the limits of creative science writing? How can the techniques of fiction be used to communicate science in new and exciting ways? What, ultimately, is the relationship between fact and story? Join string theorist and author Tasneem Zehra Husain, science writer Amanda Gefter, MIT physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, and physicist-turned-filmmaker Mark Levinson, for a lively discussion about their work and the larger artistic landscape of science writing - moderated by Tim De Chant, senior digital editor at NOVA.

Free.


Sunday, April 19

10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Workshop: Animation Immersion

Take part in an innovative hand-drawn + computer animation workshop. First, use lightboxes to explore a range of hand-drawn animation tools and skills and then switch to exploring drawing and animating techniques using Illustrator and After Effects computer programs. The hand-drawn and computer-generated art will be combined into a science-themed video!

Pre-registration required. $15 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 11-16 only; each student must bring own lunch.
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

One More Cup Of Coffee

Hear MIT professor Sandy Pentland, Harvard researcher Daniel Chasman, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center physician Sanjiv Chopra spill the beans about their separate studies on the social, molecular, or physiological effects of coffee.  And, awaken your senses while speaking with experts from Flour Bakery+Cafe, Darwin’s Ltd., Barismo, and Aeronaut Brewing Company about the finer aspects of their brews.  Sampling is encouraged!

 


Monday, April 20

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Paper Skyscraper Building Challenge

Use paper cups, newspapers, and other materials to build towers in the museum. Compete or collaborate with other visitors on this fun, hands-on building activity.

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Robots And Beyond Mini Tour

Does your child seem to know everything about robots? Then explore the MIT Museum’s historic robots gallery with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator, and learn the back stories about some of the unique collection!

Limited to 25 participants per tour; for families with children under age 12 only. Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.
11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Robots And Beyond Mini Tour

Does your child seem to know everything about robots? Then explore the MIT Museum’s historic robots gallery with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator, and learn the back stories about some of the unique collection!

Limited to 25 participants per tour; for families with children under age 12 only. Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Workshop: Creative Circuitry

Explore the intersection between art and electronics! Participants will explore basic circuits, engineering design, and programming, with opportunities to design, build, and take home their very own electronics craft creation.

Pre-registration required. $5 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

MIT Museum Revealed: Scientific Imagery

Join Museum Director John Durant to explore the work of three talented photographers: Berenice Abbott, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, and Felice Frankel, on view in our newest exhibition, “Images of Discovery”. Learn about the scientific basis for their images as you appreciate their vision.

Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only. Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Mathternoon @ the MIT Museum

Try your hand (and mind) at a variety of analytical explorations, including paper folding with the MIT Origami Club, slide rules from the Museum's Collections, and collaborative puzzles with Girls' Angle during this fun, numerically-replete afternoon.

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Workshop: The Jungle Quest for Gold

An old legend has it that there is treasure hidden deep within the heart of the Rube Jungle. Few dare approach the jungle, as it can only be navigated using a Rube Goldberg machine, a piece of engineering far too complicated for the ordinary person. But you could be the one to conquer the challenge. Join us for a fun afternoon workshop where you will use simple machines to create a machine to help you avoid flesh eating piranhas, collect hidden rubies, and get to the gold treasure! Are you up for the challenge?

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 9 -12 only.


Tuesday, April 21

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Workshop: Coding and Game Design

Making computer games is hard but super fun, whether you are an expert gamer or don't play games at all! This is your chance to be an artist, sound designer, programmer, and storyteller. Bring a parent/guardian to this workshop to learn how to build a game together using StarLogo Nova, an online tool that lets you create and share 3D games. Creativity is more important than past programming experience for this course. Two student maximum with each adult.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 8+.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

MIT Museum Revealed: Photographing Places

Join Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture & Design, to view the latest exhibit in the Kurtz Gallery of Photography. See how the journal Places, founded at MIT and UC Berkeley, has been influential in the environmental planning field and pioneering in its use of contemporary photography of place.

Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only. Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

What Will They Print Up Next?

Amplify what you know about 3D printing by exploring flexible materials, self-assembling products, and other unconventional ideas that MIT researchers are creating. Learn about the novel NVPro printer specially designed for young learners and educators, and explore nature-based design software developed by Nervous System.

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Workshop: Coding and Game Design

Making computer games is hard but super fun, whether you are an expert gamer or don't play games at all! This is your chance to be an artist, sound designer, programmer, and storyteller. Bring a parent/guardian to this workshop to learn how to build a game together using StarLogo Nova, an online tool that lets you create and share 3D games. Creativity is more important than past programming experience for this course. Two student maximum with each adult.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 8+.


Wednesday, April 22

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dive Into Ocean Science

On Earth Day, join scientists from the MIT, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the MIT Foundry, and more to learn about their efforts to better understand our planet's massive liquid environment. See the latest advances in oceanographic research, talk to individuals working in the field, and dive into some hands-on nautical explorations, including knot tying and phytoplankton identification!

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

3D Printing For Your Aquarium

Do you have your own personal aquatic environment or aspire to one day?  Are you curious about 3D printing?  Can the two interests be melded together?  They can!  Learn how some intrepid educators are experimenting with 3D printed coral models for use in aquariums.

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Workshop: DIY Underwater Vehicle Design

Dive into the world of ocean engineering by designing and building a remotely-operated underwater vehicle! Test your rover in large tanks on the Museum’s gallery floor.  Show off your engineering creations and share your design process with Museum visitors.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

MIT Museum Revealed: Undersea Robotics

Dive into our exhibit halls with Kurt Hasselbalch, Curator of the Hart Nautical Collections. Learn about MIT's numerous connections to autonomous underwater vehicle development and nature-inspired robotics.

Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only.

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Workshop: Fish 'n' Ships

Design, build, and test mechanisms for ship propulsion in this introduction to nature-inspired engineering at MIT. This workshop for middle and high school students features examples from MIT research labs and the Museum's Hart Nautical Collections as well as a mini-tour of the Museum's Robots & Beyond gallery.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.


Thursday, April 23

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Play Day at the MIT Museum

Play around with learning games from the MIT Game Lab, Education Arcade, Harmonix and others. Featured demonstrations and hands-on activities are designed especially for teens.

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Workshop: Introduction to Robotics

Explore what makes a robot tick in this introduction to programming robots. Students use the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and NXT-G Programming Environment to get robots sensing, thinking, and moving about. This workshop includes an introduction to artificial intelligence research at MIT and a guided tour of the Robots and Beyond gallery.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

MIT Museum Revealed: Shining a Light on Holography

The MIT Museum invites you to explore our holography gallery with a special Cambridge Science Festival guide! Seth Riskin, Manager of Holography and Spatial Imaging, offers new perspectives on the Museum’s popular holography collection. Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only.

Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Workshop: Introduction to Robotics

Explore what makes a robot tick in this introduction to programming robots. Students use the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and NXT-G Programming Environment to get robots sensing, thinking, and moving about. This workshop includes an introduction to artificial intelligence research at MIT and a guided tour of the Robots and Beyond gallery.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

SciEx: Extreme Science Film Festival

Can a video about science be as exciting as an extreme sports video?  It sure can, but you should be the judge!  Join the student filmmakers who created cool video shorts, vote for your favorite original extreme science video, and see who will walk away with the grand prize! And, meet the season 3 hosts of Science Out Loud, the original web series written and hosted by MIT students. This season covers everything from the science of snot to regenerating lizard tails and human livers to making semiconductors!

Free.


Friday, April 24

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Workshop: Make To Move

Tour our Gestural Engineering exhibition and find your inner engineer + artist. Participants will learn about elements of motion (gears, pulleys, linkages, and more) and combine them to produce a kinetic sculpture worthy of sharing with their peers.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

MIT Museum Revealed: Robots And Beyond

Discover the history of robots and artificial intelligence - fan favorites at science centers all over the world - on a tour of the MIT Museum's unique collection of robots with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator.  Learn some of the back stories about these MIT inventions, and if you are lucky, you might get to see an artifact or two not on display!

Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only. Tickets available one half-hour before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Innovations in Urban Design

Learn about ways in which MIT researchers are using sustainable materials to create environmentally friendly buildings, discover innovation in architecture and design in the local community, and hear about changes in the Kendall Square and Central Square areas from historical and personal perspectives.  Also, design and build your own green roof model!

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Workshop: Make To Move

Tour our Gestural Engineering exhibition and find your inner engineer + artist. Participants will learn about elements of motion (gears, pulleys, linkages, and more) and combine them to produce a kinetic sculpture worthy of sharing with their peers.

Pre-registration required. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.


Saturday, April 25

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Topics in Optics

Optics are fun, and we'll show you why! With a series of "science tricks" -- it's not magic, it's science -- the MIT Student Chapter of the Optical Society of America (OSA) will teach you the fundamentals of optical science. Demos include holograms, FM radio, no-glasses-needed 3D TV, low-cost microscopy, and much more!
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Soaring Into Sky & Space

Travel into the atmosphere and beyond with the MIT community who are working at the upper edges of our skies.  Behold Terrafugia’s roadable plane, pilot a flight simulator, explore rockets and gyroscopes with Draper Laboratory researchers, discuss the feasibility of a Mars exploration station, learn about the Global Space Balloon Challenge, and more!


Sunday, April 26

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Sculpture Racing Exhibition

Meet a new generation of racing sculpture artists! Builders of all ages will be exhibiting their design concepts as well as completed projects. Participation in the showcase is open to anyone interested in displaying their racing sculpture designs and finished projects - please see People’s Sculpture website for design guidelines. Then, cheer on your favorite racer in an exciting sprint around the block. Lesley University Art Professor Geoffrey Koetsch will give a multimedia presentation on the history of sculpture racing in Cambridge.

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Hi-Fi Sci Art: Preserving Our Planet

Hear five new compositions commissioned specially for the Festival, performed by Dinosaur Annex professionals, young guest musicians and dancers, and inspired by visual artists whose displayed works compel us to preserve our fragile ecosystems. At the close, audience members will have a chance to ask questions of the collaborators.

Free.

MIT MUSEUM   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Building N51   Cambridge, MA 02139   617-253-5927   museuminfo@mit.edu
Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology