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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

IU Science Fest seeks to interest kids

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After a mad scientist brought Albert Einstein, Marie Curie and other famous physicists back to life as zombies, they worked together to help fight off dinosaurs that were terrorizing Swain West.

Through a series of physics demonstrations, using materials such as a Tesla coil, an electric can crusher and liquid nitrogen, the Undergraduate Physics Club took audience members on a journey called “Jurassic Swain.”

The show was one of many science-themed activities offered at the second IU Science Fest that took place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Swain West, Jordan Hall, Lindley Hall, the Chemistry building and the Kirkwood Observatory. The event was a way to teach the public about science.

“A lot of times (kids) don’t get to see these things at school,” said Teresa Lackey, first-year graduate student at IU. “They’re interesting and also have science.”

Participating departments included chemistry, physics, biology, math, geological sciences, informatics and computing, astronomy, environmental science and psychological and brain sciences.

More than 100 activities occurred throughout the day. These activities were spread out across the science buildings, allowing participants to walk through campus.

Attendees could choose to watch a demo show entitled “The Haunting Magic of Chemistry” at the Chemistry building. They could also learn more about the geography of food in the Student Building or go on an interpretive hiking tour with the Environmental Club.

Participants could also take part in other activities stationed outside and inside the science buildings including a pumpkin drop, fossil finding and a volcano demonstration. They could also create their own video game, use a 3D printer or practice pulling a tablecloth out from under a plate and bowl.

Along with these activities was the Science Slam, an hour presentation where four scientists had 12 minutes to discuss a topic of their choosing. After all had the opportunity to speak, the audience got to choose the “slam champion.”

Topics for this year included “The Greatest Show (not) on Earth,” “Pollution Electrocution: Reduction of legacy pollutants,” “Plants: they whisper, talk and even move!” and “Neutrons Kill Dark Energy Theory 5.”

Anne Bley brought her children to Science Fest to teach them about the world.

“(Science) is part of our everyday world,” Bley said. “(Science Fest) is an opportunity that the University offers, and it’s always nice to mingle with the University.”

Some members of the IU science community also said Science Fest was a good way for kids to learn.

“It’s a way to teach kids about science in a fun way,” Nick Marsh, IU senior, said. “It also gets them out of the house and not in front of a TV.”

Along with kids, volunteers at the Fest said it was important for those of all ages to learn more about science.

“It’s a great way to connect with school,” Marsh said. “The most fun is when teenagers come. It’s fun to show them that science is fun and interesting.”

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