Philadelphia Science Fest 2011 – Recap

So the glorious 2 week gala that was the Philadelphia Science Festival of April 2011 has finally come to an end! I am so sad that I’m working full time at GSK during this fest’s premiere and could not go to many events, but I did my best. Not many photos, but quite a few memories 🙂

Friday – April 15, 2011 – The Big Jump

Granted I am officially a 21 year old, and this event was created for probably gradeschool and middleschool science classes (if high schools and colleges were cool, they would have participated, too), I thought this was a really fun idea. On Friday, April 16 the PhillySciFest website at 11am did a seismograph reading for 1 minute. In that time, classrooms of children, teachers, and people across Philadelphia were invited to jump to see if we could get an elevated reading, sort of like a mini earthquake with a joint effort.

Lesson learned, it would take hundreds of thousands of people to make even a small impact on the seismograph, but it was a good exercise to bring awareness to the magnitude of the Richter scale as well as be an inquisitive scientist! Temple University’s recordings from The Big Jump are seen below:

You can bet on that day, at that very strike of 11am, I ran to the bathroom before my meeting and jumped for 60 seconds. Judge me.

Saturday – April 16, 2011 – The Carnival on the Parkway!

This event actually broke my heart in half. It was so WONDERFUL. So much preparation and dedication by the people setting up the events at each tents and decoration. Truly a conglomeration of knowledge and fun for kids. It was like the world’s largest and free science experiment, ranging from DNA extractions, “body cavity” examinations, chemical art, free plants for environmental awareness, and more!Sadly, it literally rained on this parade. Naomi was nice enough to go with me to the event after her ridiculous MCATs, even though it was raining cats and dogs and the streets began flooding. It was located by all the grand museums in Logan’s Circle.

Despite the crap weather, the two of us still had fun.

We were able to make a painting together using shaving cream and food coloring at the American Chemical Society table. Inspired by the Japanese art style sumi nagashi, hydrophobic and hydrophilic reactions were the basis of this beautiful abstract image.

I was also able to grab a free plant before the Horicultural people left for the day. I lovingly clenched to my plant in a cup and stuck my hand out of the umbrella the entire time we were walking so that the rain could water it. I appropriately named the plant “Tempest.”

Unfortunately we never found the photobooth or the DNA building blocks keychains, but we left soaking wet and with nutella banana cupcakes :)To commemorate my 21 birthday and the start of the Sci Fest, we later partied and took shots from colorful test tubes. Scientists love their ethanol.

Sunday – April 17 – Academy/Anatomy

I am soooo glad we were able to make this event!! It was the last day of the Academy/Anatomy exhibit at the Penn. Fine Arts. Again, photos were not allowed, but it was a great day. Sunny and beautiful, what lovely weather for girls in dresses!As for the actual exhibit, it was fantastic. Truly gives you an appreciation of educators and medical doctors before our time.

It was so behumbling to see the pioneers of the medical world. Their findings and contributions that are the foundations of science now. And to see their notes and drawings are so similar to mine, but hundreds of years older sends chills down my spine! As aspiring scientists and contributors to medicine, we truly stand on the shoulders of giants as my cell bio prof once said.

All it in all I think it was a really good idea. I hope Philadelphia supports this to become an annual festival because I would love to participate more next year! It’s already announced a 2012 reappearance and it’s own official beer: E=MC BEERED by Yards, Aniket’s favorite beer brand from a Philadelphia brewery.

A good way to wrap this fest wrap-up is Kirsten’s post card from the Brain Exhibit from the Museum of Natural History!


One comment on “Philadelphia Science Fest 2011 – Recap

  1. improperintegirl says:

    The science festival sounded so fun! I think they do something once a year at the hall of science.. but I’ve never been. And I love the name of your plant ^^ and hooray, my postcard is on the wall ^^

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