Drexel University at Philadelphia Science Festival

Greemfield School - PSF - courtesy of Jeff Fusco
Drexel faculty and professional staff will play an important role in the weeklong Philadelphia Science Festival celebration from April 20-29.

Drexel University will play a big role in the celebration of science at the annual Philadelphia Science Festival. The festival, which runs from April 20-29, brings scientists and science enthusiasts together for a week of science-related exhibits, demonstrations and gatherings throughout the city. Drexel students, faculty and professional staff will take part in events each day during the festival. Below is a schedule of all Drexel-related activities during the week:

Saturday, April 21

Science Carnival on the Parkway – more than 100 exhibitors will take to Logan Circle and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival. The carnival includes family-friendly experiments, activities and games and will feature Drexel faculty, staff and students at the following exhibits:

Drexel & NAVSEA Philadelphia:  SeaPerch – a display of underwater robots created as part of the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge. Visitors can trying out a SeaPerch submersible robot for themselves.

Drexel’s Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) & Drexel Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (DGWISE): Newton’s (cornstarch) ooze – graduate students will demonstrate the principles surrounding Newtonian/Non-Newtonian fluids and how liquid flow/movement is affected by its viscosity using cornstarch and water.

Have a Ball with Chemistry – young scientists will have the opportunity to use water to convert a powder into a rubber ball while learning about the properties of polymers. The exhibit will also display unusual properties of metal, sand and plastic.

KEYSPOTS – Powered by Freedom Rings Partnership – Drexel is part of a partnership to promote the importance of internet and computer access for all Philadelphians. This group is dedicated to spreading computer literacy and helping to provide access to computers and internet.  This exhibit will feature hands-on activities and demonstrations.  

TechServ – Bridging the Digital Divide – Drexel student organization that attempts to bridge the Digital Divide in Philadelphia through community service that focuses on technology. Students refurbish and donate computers and peripherals to various nonprofit and community organizations as well as offering classes and training in how to use and maintain the technology. The exhibit will feature hands-on activities and demonstrations.  

Sustainability Rocks! - Talk to chemists, engineers and other scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Patrick Center for Environmental Research who will be on hand to demonstrate how to help monitor pollution and other environmental hazards affecting the Philadelphia region.  Visitors will get tips from representatives from The Academy’s Center for Environmental Policy on how they can be stewards of their environment, increase their sustainability practices and become “greener” people.  

High Speed Physics – Students from Drexel’s Society of Physics Students will help visitors learn about the physics in everyday phenomena as awe-inspiring as a bolt of lightning or as simple as a drop of water landing in a puddle. With the help of a high-speed camera, presenters will slow down these natural occurrences to illustrate the physics principles behind them.

Design Lab: The Fusion of Science & Style (5:30-7:30 p.m.) – The Academy of Natural Sciences (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway) will host a show highlighting the intersection of science and design. The creativity of Philadelphia University’s Design X Fashion Show will be on full display. Visitors will be able to meet artists, sculptors, landscape and fashion designers and discuss how science inspires their creative process. Tickets for the show are available here.

Monday, April 23

Robotics Discovery Day: Philly Robotics Expo (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) – Drexel’s Mitchell Auditorium (Bossone Research Center, Market Street, between 31st and 32nd Streets) will host robotics enthusiasts of all ages while showcasing a variety of robot technology being studied and developed at Drexel. Registration is required for the expo, register here.

When Good Drugs Turn Bad (6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – Drexel’s Dr. Robert Field, a professor in the School of Public Health and the Earle Mack School of Law, will be part of a panel that explores the history of drug safety regulation dating back to Prohibition to current portrayals of illegal drugs in pop culture. The event will be held at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom Streets). Tickets may be purchased by clicking here.

Science on Tap Quizzo (6 p.m.) – The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will host a science-themed trivia contest.  The event will be held at the National Mechanics (22 South 3rd Street).

Science of Nutrition: The Gluten and Dairy Free Fad (8 p.m.) – Professors from the College of Nursing and Health Professions present a closer look at these new dietary trends. The event will be held at Pure Fare (119 South 21st Street). Tickets may be purchased online.   

Tuesday, April 24

The Great Vaccine Debate (6:30 p.m.) – The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will host a panel discussion about the benefits and dangers of vaccination.  Panelists include Dr. Mark Largent author of Vaccine: The Debate in Modern America, scientists from The Wistar Institute and several medical ethicists. Reservations required, register here

Blogging and Beer: A Discussion with “The Public’s Health” (6:30 p.m.) – Discussion with Inquirer bloggers, and public health experts from Drexel’s School of Public Health, about Philadelphia’s public health issues, including the history of public health in the city and why they are important. The event will be held at Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut Street) and is free and open to the public with no reservation required.

Wednesday, April 25

Smart Talk: Women in Science (8 a.m.) – A morning of coffee and conversation will feature a panel of women who have active, exciting careers in science, including Drexel’s Senior Vice Provost for Research Deborah Crawford. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session after the panel discussion. The event will be held at Quorum at the University City Science Center (3711 Market Street, Suite 800). Reservations can be made by clicking here.

Open Labs Day at Drexel (8:30 a.m. – noon) – Various research laboratories across Drexel’s campus will be open to high schools that are registered for the event featuring tours, demonstrations and workshops.  Experience a full day of lab tours, hands-on activities, and demonstrations. This program will include lunch and access to the Great Gigs career program at noon. The program is designed for students from grades 8-12. Participants can register here for Open Labs Day.

Great Gigs (12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.) – Learn about a typical day in the office for scientists and researchers in Drexel’s College of Engineering and College of Arts & Science in presentations at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Bossone Research Center (3128 Market Street). Look at the brain in a whole new way; Explore the biomechanics of lizards and crabs; discover a dinosaur; learn what it takes infuse flavor into everyday foods — all part of a day’s work for these science professionals. Listen, ask questions, and learn more through interactive demonstrations. Register here for Great Gigs.

“A Glorious Enterprise” Book Talk and Signing (6:30 p.m.) – Academy of Natural Sciences Senior Fellow Robert M. Peck and historical biographer Patricia Tyson Stroud chronicle 200 years of Academy history in their newly published book “A Glorious Enterprise: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the Making of American Science. This illustrated history includes natural-light photographs of Academy specimens by noted photographer Rosamond Purcell. Boyd Matson, a lead on-air journalist for National Geographic, will interview the authors at this free event held at the Academy.  

Thursday, April 26

Science Connections: Culture, The Environment and You (4:30 p.m.) – Science educators will have the chance to explore the connections between culture, science and the environment at this PSF professional development activity. Representatives from Drexel’s faculty as well as researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences will be on hand at the event, which is hosted by the Penn Museum (3260 South Street). Reservation required, register here.

Life, Sex, Death (and Food): A Historical Look at the Science that Drives us (7 p.m.) – You’re born, you eat, you reproduce, you die.  These four acts have been pondered over, questioned and theorized about throughout history. Experts from the School of Public Health discuss society’s search for answers in science. The event will be held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (315 Chestnut Street), purchase tickets here.  

A Nerd’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse (8 p.m.) – Who would be ready if the world ended tomorrow? With professors from the College of Arts & Science, take a look at how the end of the world has been portrayed in movies and television, pack a survival kit and learn basic survival skills. The event will be held at the Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Avenue). Tickets are available online or at the door. 

Friday, April 27

Astronomy Night (8 p.m.) – Drexel’s Joseph Lynch Observatory (Main Building, 32nd and Chestnut Street) will be one of more than 20 venues around Philadelphia will host stargazing parties. At each site, amateur astronomers will bring out telescopes to show locals the wonders of the night sky.

Saturday, April 28

Science Scavenger Hunt (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) – Using an iPhone app developed by Drexel Engineers, find clues on a city-wide scavenger hunt while discovering Philadelphia’s rich science history. Participation is free but registration is required, register your team here.

Science Day at the Ballpark (7:05 p.m.) – Drexel’s College of Engineering and the Academy of Natural Sciences will have exhibition booths at Citizen’s Bank Park where you can learn about the science of sports while cheering the Phillies to victory over the Cubs. Purchase your tickets for the game here.

Sunday, April 29

Discovery Day at the Seaport (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – Attendees will learn about the science surrounding water, including boat making, marine animals and tracking the weather with Drexel engineers. Independence Seaport Museum (211 South Columbus Boulevard), purchase tickets here, event is also free with Seaport Museum admission.

Clark Park Discovery Day (11 a.m.) - Visitors will meet local scientists and science students as they uncover the wonders around Clark Park (43rd Street and Chester Avenue) and dig into an archeological excavation in Woodland Cemetery. Researchers and students from Drexel's College of Engineering will help visitors learn about the natural world around them with more than 20 hands-on activities throughout the park. No regestration is required for this event.

Sweet Beats: The Science Behind Music  (2 p.m.) – A jazz concert hosted in the Bossone Research Center’s Mitchell Auditorium (Market Street, between 31st and 32nd Streets) will allow the audience to experience the science behind the music via large screen visualizations and an interactive smartphone app. Renowned saxophonist and astrophysicist Stephon Alexander will lead an ensemble of award-winning musicians, including Grammy Award winner Will Calhoun of the band Living Colour, and acclaimed pianist and composer Marc Cary, who also served as Abbey Lincoln's pianist for 12 years. Dr. Youngmoo Kim, the director of Drexel’s Music & Entertainment Technology Lab, will emcee the concert.