Chemistry in the Spotlight at the Wisconsin Science Festival

volunteer shows 3D printed skulls
A volunteer and visitors compare 3-D-printed models of hominin skulls at the 2015 Wisconsin Science Festival’s Discovery Expo. The Discovery Expo is a hands-on, family-friendly event that takes place in the Discovery Building over all four days of the festival. Photo: Courtni Kopietz, Morgridge Insitute for Research

From arcade games to storytelling to stargazing, the 2016 Wisconsin Science Festival will feature something for everyone across 200-plus events Oct. 20-23.

Now in its sixth year, the festival continues to grow, with activities spanning 34 cities and towns in Wisconsin. Many activities will be held at the Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard Street, with other events taking place elsewhere in Madison and in communities statewide.

Events involving chemistry faculty, staff, and students include:

Discovery Expo, Thursday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 23
Visit a variety of chemistry-related tables and demos, including the Burstyn research group, the Jin research group, the Institute for Chemical Education, the Materials Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC), and Tracy Drier’s Wisconsin Fire Wagon.

Science is Fun Extravaganza, Thursday, Oct. 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
This event fosters public awareness and appreciation of science. Join the celebrations with Professor Bassam Shakhashiri, Rod Schreiner, and other guests and experience spectacular demonstrations. Space is limited, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Big Ideas for Busy Scholars, Friday, Oct. 21, 4-5 p.m.
Hear five-minute talks from UW-Madison undergraduates and graduate students. This fast-paced event will feature undergraduate Madeline Meyer from the Hamers research group.

Big Ideas for Busy People, Saturday, Oct. 22, 7-8 p.m.
This event features five of the UW’s best and brightest, covering topics from motion tracking to Shakespeare’s genome to gravitational waves. Each speaker gives a five-minute talk followed by five minutes of Q & A. This year’s speakers include Professor of Chemistry and Biomolecular Chemistry Joshua Coon.