Family Science Days
Saturday & Sunday
14 - 15 February 2009
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Chicago
East Wacker Drive
River Center Exhibit Hall
On Saturday and Sunday, visit Family Science Days, a free event for the general public featuring hands-on demonstrations and other family and kid-friendly activities. Presented by AAAS and Science Chicago in partnership with area laboratories, universities, and museums. The event also features the Meet the Scientists Series that gives you the chance to have your questions answered by experts.
Following provides information on activities offered by University, Argonne and Fermilab at this year’s Family Science Days.
The University of Chicago
Science and Technology Outreach and Mentoring Program
Instructors from the University of Chicago’s Science and Technology Outreach and Mentoring Program (S.T.O.M.P.) will run a series of interactive hands-on activities for students grades K-5 based on science, math, and engineering principles that are applicable to everyday life. Parents and their young children will have an opportunity to work together to become familiar with the basic principle of acidity through learning which household substance is actually a weak acid; explore the geometry of bottles to solve a volume mystery; learn to filter water; and create and decode their own secret messages.
S.T.O.M.P. is an after-school science club for elementary and middle school age children led by graduate students, undergraduates, and post-docs from the University of Chicago. The S.T.O.M.P. instructors create weekly hands-on activities designed for the interests and grade levels of each student group. The program is supported by the university's Vice President for Research and National Laboratories.
Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
Come explore some of the science leading to the next generation of materials with students and staff from MRSEC. We will present both hands-on demonstrations and high-speed video clips that the entire family will enjoy. They highlight our research dealing with the complex processes underlying many of the phenomena that we commonly see around us. The University of Chicago Materials Research Center focuses on developing design principles for the next generation of materials, emphasizing processes far from equilibrium.
Argonne National Laboratory
Some of the best teams from Argonne National Laboratory's 14th Annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest for Chicago-area high schools will demonstrate their inventions. Each year, up to 12 high school teams experience the fun and creativity of science and engineering by building wacky machines that use at least 20 steps to complete some mundane task. This year's task is to replace an incandescent light bulb with a more energy-efficient, light-emitting design.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Stage presentation: Learn all about the fascinating field of super cooling with Mr. Freeze!—a fast-paced show that includes demonstrations for children and families. Fermilab engineers use liquid nitrogen to super cool magnets for least resistance; other industries use super cooling, too.
Booth: Children and families, come learn about the cool science at Fermilab with some really hot activities. Fermilab’s hottest technologies help us discover the nature of matter.
We use super cooling cryogenics to keep things cool. You’ll learn more about how hot and cold things can be and how you can measure temperatures around you. Energy and force help us learn about matter. You’ll race balls of varied mass at the gravity accelerator and explore mass, momentum and force and motion with skateboards, bicycle wheels and spinning turntables.
Pick up some take-home items to continue your science explorations.
Meet the Scientists
Meet the Scientists is part of the Family Science Days activities and events that are free and open to the public at the AAAS Annual Meeting. You will hear about cool science jobs, have the chance to interact one-on-one, and have your questions answered by the experts.
Saturday, 14, February
A New Dinosaur-Eating Crocodile
Paul Sereno, Paleontologist, Professor in Organismal Biology & Anatomy, The University of Chicago; President and Cofounder, Project Exploration; and Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society
Paul Sereno has discovered dinosaurs on several continents. His overall aim is to map the dinosaur family tree by tracing the many evolutionary changes recorded in their skeletons. The patterns of change recorded on the branches of the evolutionary tree are key to understanding how evolution works over millions of years. Sereno fuses his mission of scientific research with his educational mission, engaging his students directly in the process of discovery. In 1998, Sereno and his wife, educator Gabrielle Lyon, co-founded Project Exploration, an organization dedicated to bringing dinosaur discoveries and natural science to the public and providing innovative educational opportunities for city kids.
Fermilab: Mr. Freeze! Show
Science Is To Know the World in All Its Splendor
Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, Pritzker Professor of Science, Illinois Institute of Technology; and Director Emeritus, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Sunday, 15 February
Mysteries of Space and the Dark Universe
Rocky Kolb, Astrophysicist, Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics; and Chair, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The University of Chicago