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World Science Festival 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thursday, May 30, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday, May 31, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
12:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
10:30 am - 11:45 am
Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Light Falls premiered nationwide on PBS on Wednesday, May 29.

May 2019 marks a pivotal milestone in human intellectual history: the 100th anniversary of astronomical observations that confirmed Albert Einstein’s new conception of space, time and gravity–his General Theory of Relativity. In celebration of this momentous achievement, join Brian Greene and an ensemble Broadway cast for Light Falls, an original work for the stage featuring wondrous, fully immersive projections and an original orchestral score, tracing the breakthrough moments, agonizing frustrations, and final emergence into the light as the world’s most intrepid scientific mind took on the universe. And won.

Sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with additional support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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It’s happened. The first children genetically engineered with the powerful DNA-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 have been born to a woman in China. Their altered genes will be passed to their children, and their children’s children. Join CRISPR’s co-discoverer, microbiologist Jennifer Doudna, as we explore the perils and the promise of this powerful technology. It is not the first time human ingenuity has created something capable of doing us great good and great harm. Are we up to the challenge of guiding how CRISPR will shape the future?

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The series, “The Big, the Small, and the Complex,” is sponsored by The Kavli Foundation.

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In a blockbuster paper in 1948, Claude Shannon introduced the notion of a “bit” and laid the foundation for the information age. His ideas ripple through such diverse fields as communication, linguistics, genetics, computing, cryptography, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and cosmology. In later years, he constructed a mathematical theory of juggling, rode unicycles, wrote the first paper on computer chess and built a flaming trumpet. The Bit Player tells the story of an overlooked genius who revolutionized the world. The World Premiere of this film will be followed by a conversation discussing Shannon’s legacy and the impact of his work.

This program is supported by the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Co-presented with the Museum of the Moving Image.

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If you believe the world’s leading physicists, the vast majority of matter in the universe is hiding in plain sight. For nearly a century, evidence has mounted that the gravitational pull necessary to keep clusters of galaxies intact, as well as stars within galaxies from flying apart, requires far more matter than we can see—matter, according to the experts, that has eluded our telescopes, because it does not give off light. Problem is, such “dark matter” has also eluded one specially designed detector after another that researchers have deployed to catch it. Which raises the big question: What if we have failed to find dark matter because it isn’t there? Join leading physicists on a scientific treasure hunt that has proved more challenging than anyone expected, and may ultimately require rethinking some of our most fundamental ideas about the universe.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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There is little doubt that Mars will be the next step in our continuing march to the skies, with some predicting we will take that giant leap within the next decade. Who among us will be the intrepid explorers to settle Mars? How will they survive on that barren world? What will life be like for the first human Martians? As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, join us for a wondrous journey guided by a crew of experts who will explore the challenges—technological, physiological, and psychological—of sending humans to Mars. And as we set foot on that neighboring world, experience the red planet through full 3D imagery—mountains, plateaus, crevices, and caves—that some of us will one day call home.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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In collaboration with Elsevier and the Annals of Physics, the World Science Festival invites faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate physics students, and particularly well-informed members of the general public to join this all-day, high-level workshop focusing on new theories and probes of dark matter.

Presented in collaboration with Elsevier and the Annals of Physics.

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The World Science Festival’s Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare and intimate access to renowned scientists in a town hall-style discussion. Meet Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. Her pioneering technique made it possible to accurately count the number of neurons in brains of all sizes. After studying over 80 species, she discovered that humans have far more neurons than other animals relative to brain size.  Hear about how this breakthrough discovery fundamentally altered our understanding of interspecies neurology.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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We make tools. It defines us. But since the first proto-human tied a stick to a stone, tools have also been making us. Join our panel of philosophers, anthropologists, and futurists as we examine our journey from the stone age to the computer age—seeking clues about who we are, and what we are becoming. Our smartphones have become veritable appendages. How long before we literally merge with our technology? Wearables, implantables, ingestible sensors, digital telepathy, and brain-computer interfaces are all on the horizon. Join us for a fascinating glimpse of a future that is closer than you think.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Thirty-five years ago string theory took physics by storm, promising the coveted unified theory of nature’s forces that Einstein valiantly sought but never found. In the intervening decades, string theory has brought a collection of mind-boggling possibilities into the lexicon of mainstream thinking—extra dimensions of space, holographic worlds, and multiple universes. Some researchers view these developments as symptoms of string theory having lost its way. Others argue that string theory, although very much still a work in progress, is revealing stunning new qualities of reality. Join leading minds in theoretical physics for a whirlwind ride through the twists and turns of string theory—its past, its future, and what it tells us about the search for the universe’s final theory.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Nearly every culture throughout history has used chemicals that alter consciousness for spiritual exploration. In the 20th century these drugs caught the attention of scientists. Psychedelics, as they were named, proved effective at treating intractable illnesses like depression and addiction. And they became a tool for studying the mind, opening “the doors of perception,” as Aldous Huxley wrote. But those doors slammed shut when President Nixon declared psychedelics dangerous and medically useless. Join scientists and “psychonauts” who are now picking up where research left off 50 years ago, experimenting with LSD, psilocybin, DMT and other psychedelics to heal—and reveal—the mind.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Acknowledging the scientists who blazed intellectual trails before him, Isaac Newton wrote: “If I have seen a little further it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this special annual series, we invite our audience to stand on the shoulders of a modern-day giant. This year, we are honored to present a special two-part address from two giants bringing new light to black holes. In celebration of the astounding recent achievement of the Event Horizon Telescope, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomer Shep Doeleman will detail how his team worked for over a decade to capture the first-ever image of a black hole’s event horizon. Harvard University Professor of Physics Andrew Strominger will then explore the deep theoretical puzzles that have driven black hole research and the insights achieved by recent breakthroughs.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Fifty years ago, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounced on the moon’s surface below, Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins briefly disappeared behind the lunar disk, becoming the first person to experience space entirely alone. As we set our sights on the stars, space travelers will need to cope with ever longer stretches—months, years, and beyond—in the lonely environs of the cosmos. What will that take? What will that be like? How will it affect who we are? Join Michael Collins and fellow astronauts for a whirlwind journey boldly going where only a handful of humans have gone before.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Join this year’s Turing Prize winner Yann LeCun and other pioneers in artificial intelligence for a no-nonsense discussion of whether a truly intelligent machine can be created—and, if so, how and when. The “thinking machines” that Alan Turing postulated in 1950 have already vaulted beyond us in specific arenas like chess, Go, and Jeopardy. But if we achieve artificial general intelligence, it may take only seconds for our creation to surpass us in every other arena as well. Will humans fight to the end, seeking to restrain such super intelligence, or join forces with a power never before encountered, perhaps bringing about a new utopia? Or, will we simply and quietly become irrelevant? The field’s leading thinkers will debate and discuss the engineering and the ethics required to make room for machines.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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“Because it’s there” was George Mallory’s famous explanation for why he risked (and lost) his life trying to become the first person to summit Everest. We don’t all want to climb Everest, but we all, to some degree, take risks. Why does this behavior survive natural selection? What’s going on in our brains when we put ourselves in danger? Is there a line between courageous and crazy? In search of answers, we bring together extreme risk takers and the scientists who study them. What can we learn from people who BASE jump from buildings, climb cliffs without ropes, or leap into danger to save a stranger? Join us for an exhilarating adventure—all from the safety of your seat.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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From Lemon Creek in Staten Island to the shores of the Bronx River, New York’s waterways are teeming with life — and it’s up to you to find it! Led by top marine scientists and biologists in 18 sites across New York’s five boroughs, Westchester, and New Jersey, the Great Fish Count gives attendees of all ages the chance to strap on a pair of waders, cast a net, and discover the underwater world in their own backyard.

This event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

Produced in partnership with the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

Fish illustrations by Jonathan Allen. 

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Every fossil has a story, and NYU anthropologist Shara Bailey knows how to tell it. Unearth the history behind fossils recently discovered in South Africa using clues to determine their age and identity. Amateur anthropologists will even have the opportunity to step up to a state-of-the-art scanning device, create a 3D model of the bones, and then stitch them together to make a complete model.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Fifty years ago, as the whole world watched, Michael Collins flew to the moon. That historic journey is beautifully told in his recently re-issued young adult classic, Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story. Come hear the story from General Collins himself—and see some brand new photographs of that journey—in an intimate and up-close program with an American legend.

A student program for ages 10-14.

Each child ticket purchased includes a signed copy of the book Flying to the Moon by Michael Collins.

(1) ADULT will be admitted with the purchase of (1) CHILD ticket.
Adults will not be admitted to the event unless accompanied by a child.

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Meet the coolest group of scientists with the most fascinating jobs on the planet. You’ll hear from an engineer who studies geckos to find an adhesive that can hold tons of material to the wall, a biologist who figured out why tiny brained ants travel efficiently while big-brained humans get stuck in traffic jams, and a concert-trained pianist who became a scientist to learn why some music makes you dance and other music makes you cry. They’ll tell you first hand about their spectacular journeys to figure out how the world works and much more. Join us to start your own quest to find a Cool Science Job.

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Join top science authors for coffee and conversation, shop our carefully curated selection of science books, and have your books signed by participating authors.

12:00PM: Abigail Marsh  — The Fear Factor
1:00PM: David Sloan Wilson — This View of Life
2:00PM: Mark Moffett — The Human Swarm
3:30PM: Monica Gagliano — Thus Spoke the Plant
4:30PM: Dean Buonomano — Your Brain Is a Time Machine
5:30PM: Jamie Metzl — Hacking Darwin

This event is FREE and open to the public.

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Inside the labs of New York City’s prestigious universities, biologists extract snail venom that can cure human pain. Anthropologists use the latest 3D scanning technology to identify 3,000-year-old fossils. Neuroscientists discover the impact of exercise on the brain and create new vaccines to prevent the flu. No matter what the specialty, these pioneering efforts have one thing in common: they are all happening in labs run by women scientists. Join the World Science Festival as New York University labs open their doors to the next generation of scientific genius — girls.

This program includes introductory talks from NYU professors, as well as tours of the following labs: Center for the Study of Human Origins, Biomedical Chemistry Institute, NYU Urban Farm Lab, and labs devoted to the study of neuroscience, experimental biophysics, and more.

The event is FREE. Registration is required.

Questions? Email education@worldsciencefestival.com.

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On July 4, 2012 the champagne flowed. The elusive Higgs boson—the fundamental particle that gives mass to all other particles—had been found. After generations of work, the last puzzle piece was in place and the Standard Model of particle physics was complete. So, what’s next? What is the road map that will guide physicists to the next triumphs, from identifying dark matter to quantizing gravity, and perhaps providing insight into the deepest question of all—why is there something rather than nothing? What theories will light the way? What machines will we need to build to tether progress to reality? Join a renowned group of physicists to explore how we leapfrog forward from success.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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No piano? No problem. In this apprentice program, you’ll learn to make music using math and computer engineering. Explore the field of algorithmic composition with Universitat Politècnica de València Professors Jorge Sastre, Nuria Lloret Romero, and Stefano Scarani. You’ll practice techniques for programming your very own musical opus.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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While artificial intelligence lacks empathy, reason, and even basic common sense, we already rely on it to make major decisions that affect human lives. Who gets hired? Who gets fired? Who goes to college? Who goes to jail? Whose life is saved by an organ transplant? Whose life is ended in a military strike? Machine algorithms guide us in all these decisions and, as our group of leading researchers will demonstrate, they often do a better job than we do. Good or bad, this train has left the station, so jump aboard for an eye-opening look at the brave new world of today… and tomorrow.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Waves aren’t the only things surging in New York Harbor, so are populations of sharks, dolphins, and whales. While it’s rare to catch a glimpse of a majestic sea animal, you will hear tales of their journeys through New York City waterways from whale researcher Danielle Brown and shark expert Hans Walters. Hop aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a 106-foot long replica of an 18th-century ship and learn all about our majestic ocean neighbors.

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Intelligence was once thought to be uniquely human. But researchers have discovered astonishing cognitive abilities in many other species—not just our close cousins like chimps, or fellow mammals like dolphins—but also crows, parrots, and even octopuses. If we consider the intelligence of swarms, we must add bees, termites, and ants to the list of super smart creatures. Join the scientists who study smarts as we ask: What is intelligence? Why do some species get an extra dose? And just how special are humans, really?

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Immerse yourself in stargazing and storytelling. First, step up to a professional telescope for an intimate look at the Moon, Jupiter, and beyond. Then, sit on the grass for “Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe,” created by Grammy® award-winning composer Eric Whitacre. This short film experience reveals the galaxy from the perspective of the Hubble Space Telescope as one hundred members of the LaGuardia High School Senior Chorus provide a celestial soundscape. Stay to meet NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle and enjoy an engaging discussion with astrophysicists and the film’s creators, who were inspired by the famous space observatory and its singular discovery—the iconic Deep Field.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

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Raise the sails (and a glass) as you embark on an excursion aboard the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a reproduction of a late 18th-century schooner. Join world-renowned dolphin communication expert Denise Herzing to hear stories of her pioneering work researching behaviors, social structure, and communication of Atlantic spotted dolphins.

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How much brain do you need to be smart? Bees and ants perform marvels as colonies, though each insect has barely any brain. And plants—with no brain at all—exhibit behaviors that, by any definition, count as intelligent. Brace yourself for a mind-bending exploration of plants that learn new behaviors and warn their brainless fellows of danger; vines that compete with each other; molds that solve puzzles; and trees that communicate and cooperate through a ‘wood-wide web’ of microscopic mycological fibers. Perhaps the real question is, are we smart enough to appreciate the vast range of intelligence that surrounds us?

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Join a physicist, a neuroscientist, and a linguist as they explore the deep enigmas of time. Time feels like it flows, but does it? Time seems to have a built-in direction, from past to future, but is that real or merely a quality imposed by the human brain? Time on earth elapses at a uniform rate, so why does the human experience of time seem so varied? How do various neurological afflictions change the perception of time? And underneath it all, how does human language impact our ability to think about time and fully experience its rich and mysterious contours?

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Your eyes and ears don’t tell you the truth. That’s not what they’re for. The senses evolved to enable us to survive and succeed in the world, not to represent it accurately. Now, for the first time, science is revealing exactly how the sense organs receive information, process it, and pass it to the brain, providing deep insight into why we experience the world the way we do—and what it might be like for future technology to transform such experiences, perhaps allowing us to see infrared light or feel magnetic north. Join an eminent group of neuroscientists and philosophers for an ear, tongue, nose and eye-opening adventure that challenges everything we experience in search of the true nature of reality.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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City of Science is a larger-than-life event where science, technology, engineering, and math collide! We take science out of the labs and onto the streets. Washington Square Park and beyond transforms into a laboratory where you can put on a spacesuit and train like an astronaut. Spin till you’re dizzy in a multi-access trainer, drive a rover, and hop aboard a fully functional flight simulator. You’ll also be able to examine actual space dust, sit on a space commode, toss marbles into orbit, and much more.

When you want to come back down to Earth, step inside the NYU Kimmel Center and enter our virtual reality world that goes from the macrocosm to the microcosm. Take a virtual tour of the International Space Station and the planets in our solar system, and get up close with insects and all kinds of living creatures in our national parks.

Workshops, talks, interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and exciting exhibitions will run throughout the day.

This event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP not required, but encouraged. RSVP HERE!

This program is presented by Con Edison.

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You don’t need a farm to grow your food. NYC will do just fine. Join Melissa Metrick of the NYU Urban Farm Lab to test out the sustainable agriculture research happening right here in the Big Apple. Learn about growing regional grains, and take the cutting edge first steps on planting to get carbon to stay in the ground. You’ll be on the right path to develop new science for a more sustainable food system.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Have you ever wondered if you can feed your pet fish (safely) with a catapult? How to tell time without a clock? Why bridges don’t collapse? How to draw an accurately-engineered spaceship ready for take-off? Learn how artificial intelligence designed by computer scientists is being used to protect tigers, elephants, and more through a film produced by the University of Southern California. Award-winning children’s authors Ruth Spiro, Bruce Goldstone, Rachel Dougherty, and Brian Floca will read from their beloved books and lead hands-on demonstrations in catapult making, sundial construction, the magic of physics, and scientific drawing. Stick around afterward to pick up signed copies of their books.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

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Is exercise the secret to good grades? It might just be. Work side by side with New York University neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki to test the hypothesis that physical activity can enhance learning abilities, memory, and mood in healthy young adults. You’ll participate in a short aerobic exercise, and then put on an EEG headset to take computer tests that determine how well you remember sequences and perform repetitive tasks.

Please note: Physical activity is involved in this program.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Look around at the everyday products in your life, like toothpaste, hair gel, shampoo. If you were to make these products yourself, which chemicals would you use? How do chemists figure out what ingredients will work together? Join chemists Elizabeth Knapp, Shannon Louie and Gloria Huang and Christopher Wolyniak of Avon Worldwide for an exploration into monomers and polymers to experiment with making your own hair products just like bench chemists do.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Your body and family history tell a remarkable story. Scientists gather family medical histories to determine future disease risks. Join genetic counselor, Jessica Giordano of Columbia University Medical Center Institute for Genomic Medicine, to examine famous family trees and learn how scientists use genetic history in medical decision-making.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Is exercise the secret to good grades? It might just be. Work side by side with New York University neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki to test the hypothesis that physical activity can enhance learning abilities, memory, and mood in healthy young adults. You’ll participate in a short aerobic exercise, and then put on an EEG headset to take computer tests that determine how well you remember sequences and perform repetitive tasks.

Please note: Physical activity is involved in this program.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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What do you get when you merge farming with technology? Skip the outdoors and the soil. Grab water, a computer, and head indoors to grow your produce exactly as crunchy or spicy as you like. Join Bowery Farming’s Head of Agricultural Science, Susan MacIsaac, to learn about this new technology and its potential to feed a growing population while using 95% less water and yielding 100x more than traditional agriculture. Get your green thumb ready to create your own mini hydroponic farm in a bottle to take home.

Please note: This program involves interaction with various produce, including taste-testing of Bowery Farming products.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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For the last half century we have slipped the surly bonds of earth with landers, rovers and spacecraft that have allowed us to touch the very edge of the Solar System and beyond. Voyager 1, launched in 1977, has entered interstellar space. The Parker Solar Probe will soon graze the Sun. We have visited and photographed all eight planets and their moons, and powerful space telescopes are seeking signs of life on thousands of planets we have discovered circling other stars. Capping it off, we now have the first image of a black hole, at the heart of a galaxy 55 million light years away. Join us for a trip across the cosmos, guided by renowned astronomers and space scientists whose spacefaring probes provide humankind’s sharply focused eyes in the skies.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Actor Marlee Matlin joins groundbreaking researchers in deafness and for a wide-ranging discussion of cutting-edge research and how it will affect lives. Recent breakthroughs in vision and hearing mean many forms of blindness and deafness may soon be reversible. This will not be greeted with universal acclaim. Deafness is not just a disability; it is a culture with its own language and history. For many in that community ‘cure’ equates to cultural genocide. With blindness, the issues are different, but just as difficult. Will a brain that learned to navigate without sight suddenly be able to make sense of visual signals? Join a vibrant discussion of cutting-edge technology and the lives it will impact.

Presented in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society. 

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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Is there anybody out there? Or are we alone on planet Earth? Join an exoplanet hunter and learn how she investigates the possibility of life in the universe. Astronomer Allyson Sheffield of LaGuardia Community College leads a citizen science experiment using actual NASA data. Hunt for planets outside the solar system, discover patterns in the galaxy and learn the signals that scientists use to communicate with worlds beyond our own.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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Did you know that a maple tree and a tuna are related? If you go back far enough, all living things have a common ancestor. To keep track of the two million known species, scientists came up with a system of classification, known as taxonomy. Join biologist Colleen Evans, Staten Island Museum’s Director of Natural Science, to examine insect samples, create a species family tree, and learn how scientists use these methods to analyze ecosystems and stop the spread of disease.

A student-only program for kids currently enrolled in grades 5-8. Parents/Guardians should drop off their children for this event.

Supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

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