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Phi Beta Kappa Society recognizes Wisconsin Science Festival

September 30, 2014 By Terry Devitt

The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts & Sciences Initiative will recognize the Wisconsin Science Festival with a Key of Excellence Award at a special reception and ceremony Oct. 16.

Photo: Key of Excellence Award

The honor, which comes with a $10,000 cash award, is conferred in recognition of a strong record of interdisciplinary success. “The Key of Excellence showcases innovative programs that demonstrate the excellence, range and relevance of the arts and science to their communities,” says Phi Beta Kappa Society President Katherine Soule. “We aim to show decision-makers that arts and sciences education expands opportunity, drives ingenuity and invests in America.”

The Wisconsin Science Festival, now in its fourth year, is a four-day, statewide celebration of science, art and humanities. Its purpose is to share the excitement of exploration, creativity and discovery, and connect science with the arts and everyday life, says Laura Heisler, director of the festival.

Photo: Wisconsin Science Festival

A visitor takes in a microscopic view of a flower during the 2013 Wisconsin Science Festival.

Photo: WARF

“This is terrific and very encouraging recognition. It helps validate our efforts to share science and the creative process more broadly,” says Heisler, who also directs programming for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which is a primary organizer of the festival along with UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research.

This year, the festival has expanded its programming and includes events taking place in more than 20 communities statewide. The festival, slated for Oct. 16-19, is headquartered on the UW–Madison campus, in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The Wisconsin Book Festival is also a key programming partner for 2014. The organizers of the Wisconsin Science Festival anticipate that more than 30,000 people will participate across the state this year.