Dozens of interactive stations and more than 1,000 visitors fill the main level of the Discovery Building. Photo by: Jeff Miller
College of Engineering students show off the features of one of the Formula SAE Team's race cars. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Visitors learn about the concept of time at a table sponsored by the Wonders of Physics. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Visiting youth wear kid-sized arctic-expedition wear at a display sponsored by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Swarms of children from across Wisconsin buzzed from booth to booth at the Wisconsin Science Festival’s Hands-On Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Spread throughout the main floor of the Discovery Building, the event offered kids the opportunity to hold brains, make objects float with superconductivity and jump into an immersive virtual reality experience.
At its busiest, about 1,000 students were taking part in the interactive science displays, many of which were run by students studying in research labs on campus at UW–Madison. Like many of the teachers there, Janelle Nelson, who teaches 5th grade in Edgerton, brings students to the expo every year.
“The kids are always so excited to come. For some it’s the first and maybe only time they get these hands-on experiences,” Nelson said.
At left, School of Medicine and Public Health student Marissa Cutlan teaches fifth-grade students from Edgerton about human anatomy and healthy organs at table sponsored by the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation and UW School of Medicine and Population Health's Docs Ought to Care (DOC) student program. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Seated at left, Amy Prevost, education director with the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, smiles as seventh-grade student Payton DiNardo practices using a pipette. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Visiting youth engage with a plasma ball at a table sponsored by Solis at UW–Madison, a group for women and gender minorities in plasma science. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Mya Taylor, a third-grade student from Kegonsa Elementary in Stoughton, Wis., wears kid-sized arctic-expedition wear and poses in front of a large display photo of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Fifth-grade students from Edgerton, Wis., learn about the human anatomy and healthy organs. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Kristy Heine and her second-grade son Noah Heine (off from school recovering from a recent surgery) learn about liquid crystal technology from post-doctoral student Md Tahmidul Alam at a Materials Research Science and Engineering (MRSEC) table. Photo by: Jeff Miller
Materials Science and Engineering students demonstrate the principle of superconductivity as a hyper-cooled magnet levitates above a rail-like track. Photo by: Jeff Miller
With booths ranging from agriculture and engineering to chemistry and genetics, this Wisconsin Science Festival staple event is a great way to share a variety of the science studies across campus and pique kids’ interest in STEM.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids, especially since some of them are starting to think about where they want to go to college,” said Krista Krauter, a teacher at Horning Middle School in Waukesha who was chaperoning a group of 8th graders.
The Wisconsin Science Festival is a week-long event with opportunities to engage in science in Madison and at locations throughout the state.