The 2013 World Science Festival took place on May 29-June 2 in New York City. We offered a slate of exciting new programs and old favorites this year, all aimed at unlocking the beauty and complexity of science for everyone. Sign up for our newsletter to stay connected and get exclusive interviews, stories, and updates.
Roll up your sleeves and dig into science through all-new interactive exhibits, games, shows, and performances at the Ultimate Science Street Fair. Aspiring scientists of all ages investigate in “Science Centers” of biology, climate change, energy, math and technology, chemistry, and more. Earn an Ultimate Scientist certificate by logging experiences throughout the day.
Start your full day of fun by producing energy comparing walrus and warthog teeth, code your own computer game, learn how your brain works, examine live mutant worms, and more!
Register your family for the Ultimate Science Street Fair to receive the latest updates on events, a handy map, schedule, scientist data log to track your activities, and more, to get the most out of this exciting day!
Also see: Scientist’s Apprentice programs
Plan Your Ultimate Science Day!
Check back for updated programs and see below for a partial list of activities and performances you won’t want to miss, including a special appearance by NBA and science all-star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses, and others.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Become a meteorologist and learn how to analyze weather maps and forecast temperature. Learn how NYC is directly impacted by the changing polar regions.
Take a spin on the Coriolis ride to see how hurricanes form and gain power. Then create clouds, tornadoes, and wind currents in a bottle.
Super-Secret Headquarters of the Climate Repair & Innovation League
(Created by ESI Design)
Citizens of New York, help save your city! Learn how climate change is affecting our communities and develop your own creative solutions for challenges. View CRIL’s gallery of submissions and create your own!
The WemoLab–Digital Ocean
Dive underwater with Superfugu, a new interactive app where you’ll meet and learn about the creatures in the ocean. Then, explore the world’s vast waters with TheBlu, another great interactive game.
Do You Know Where Your Drinking Water Comes From?
Discover how watersheds work and how our drinking water is collected in reservoirs. Learn about trout anatomy, the importance of clean water, and what happens to all the water that comes into NYC during a storm.
Work at the Polar Bear Research Station, complete with a tundra buggy, and study polar bears in the wild.
Energy efficiency is right around the corner! Discover the amount of energy used by common household appliances, design blades for wind turbines, measure wind voltage, and build and design solar race cars—then race them!
Kick around Soccket, the energy-harnessing soccer ball. Plug it in and see the energy you’ve created! Learn about product design from start to restart to finish, and discover other interactive energy-harnessing technologies.
Formula SAE Car from Cooper Union
On Your Mark…Get Set…. Go! Hop into the driver’s seat of Cooper Union’s race car that just returned from an international, intercollegiate competition!
Ramesse Hut & Solarlite from Cooper Union
How did engineering students take waste materials and construct a useful lantern? How do photovoltaic panels convert light into chemical energy? Cooper Union teaches you how.
New York Botanical Garden
Get out your green thumbs, learn about medicinal plants, pot them, and take them home. Also discover the plants around Washington Square Park at our exciting scavenger hunt!
American Museum of Natural History
Touch real skulls! Explore exotic and familiar animal skulls, and compare the teeth of walruses, cougars, warthogs, lions, and dolphins.
Hop on the BioBus, the world’s only grease-powered mobile science lab. Peer into microscopes to examine pollinating insects and take digital photos of your magnified specimen. Develop a desire to magnify everything around you.
Beyond CSI: John Jay College
Meet real “Crime Scene Investigators” and become a CSI detective, while extracting DNA samples of household supplies, collecting fingerprints, and analyzing evidence.
Liberty Science Center
Is it magic or is it science? These amazing science experiments will make you believe you’re seeing things. Skewer a stick through a balloon with out popping it; create a human circuit; examine the world upside down… and search for fossils.
Hudson River Museum
Examine Hudson River specimens, including furs, dried fish, grass, and shrimp, along with enlarged models of microorganisms. Step up to a solar telescope and view the sun, learn the phases of the moon, and map the Milky Way.
Cicada Central from Staten Island Museum
What’s that loud noise lurking around every corner? It’s the cicadas— returning from 17 years underground. Use microscopes to peer at cicadas and other specimens, including insects, fur, scale samples, bones, seed pods, and more.
Eat, play, learn and your brain will thank you. A child’s brain, when supplied with healthy food and energetic movement, is able to think smarter and be happier. We’ll show you why and how. Kids will turn fresh, healthy food into a delicious, nutritious dessert with White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, and chef Najat Kaanache. Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki will get kids and adults up and moving, firing on all neurotransmitters. Families will eat, play, and learn their way to brain fitness.
Discover the wonder of genetics in action by operating a microscope to reveal striking differences between live normal and mutant worms. Examine brain specimens from multiple species, and learn about evolution and adaptation. Record electrical signals from your muscles with a SpikerBox.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Using a 3D brain app, learn about the latest developments in our understanding of the brain. What diseases can you inherit and what’s the likelihood? Find out for yourself using Gene Screen.
National Geographic Channel’s hit series Brain Games comes to life! Uncover the surprising nature of how you process information, feel emotions, and perceive the world through interactive experiments. Experience mind-blowing illusions, games, and challenges that will make you question whether “seeing is actually believing.”
International Flavors and Fragrances Smell Lab
Design your own fragrance and learn about the elements needed to create a scent. Explore the language and visualization of smell with words and pictures, and test your scent IQ.
Museum of Mathematics
Learn math in a new and exciting way at the Math Midway! Watch math come to life as you assist in the construction of a gigantic fractal tetrahedron.
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Look through the lens of solar telescopes and see the surface of the Sun!
Coding = fun! Learn how to code and check out games made by other CoderDojo kids.
Blue Man Group
Make music and a light show on this one-of-a-kind instrument, equipped with acoustics, electronic sounds, and LED lighting.
New York City/New Jersey FIRST Robotics
Robots alive! Join the New York City/New Jersey FIRST robotic team to take control of state-of-the-art robots that will keep you saying, “How do they do that?”
Listening to the Serenade of Cosmic Black Holes
Be part of a quest with Columbia Experimental Gravity group for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Black holes collide and merge violently in the Universe. We cannot see them, but we can listen to them with modern experiments. Play with a real interferometer, simulate curved space-time, try out fun computer games, and meet real scientists.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
What’s it like in outer space? Pick an object: A ringing bell, A deflated balloon? A glass of water? Marshmallow Peeps? Place them into a bell jar, remove the air and see what happens!
Physics Labs with Rutgers University
Feel resonance with a singing bowl; understand how weight distribution works with a bed of nails; create smoke rings; feel an electric force with a transformer, magnet and a ring, and more.
Carmelo The Science Fellow
Discover the Magic of Chemistry: Change solids into liquid then gas. Create Alka-Seltzer rockets and produce some not-so-typical slime!
Stone Rubbing with the Beijing Cultural Center for China Originality
Use traditional technology to make copies of art using stones. Create stone rubbings, enjoy art, and learn calligraphy and history in an atmosphere of Chinese traditional culture.
Lynn Brunelle’s Pop Bottle Science and Camp Out Experiments
Join Lynn Brunelle, Emmy award-winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy, teacher, and author of Pop Bottle Science, Camp Out, and Mama’s Little Book of Tricks. Smash a few leaves, crush a pop bottle with the power of the atmosphere, layer some liquids, make a lava lamp, blow up a balloon without using your mouth, and make raisins dance.
New York Hall of Science
Create giant bubbles, discover how you can fit a bucket of Styrofoam into a cup, and watch secret messages and invisible objects appear!
What can you make from all that junk you throw away? Join ScrapKins, an industrious monster tribe living in a recycling center, as they give step-by-step instructions to turn milk cartons into pirate ships, towel tubes into dinosaurs, and all kinds of ScrapKins creatures.
Museum of Interesting Things
Trace the evolution of inventions that have made communication what it is today, including telegraphs, box wooden telephones, teletypes, crystal radios, pigeon post, cell phones, and computers. Listen to an Edison cylinder phonograph and realize that volume control is only obtained by placing a sock in the horn. You’ll truly appreciate the modern features of all your devices that inventors worked so hard to create!
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MORE AT THE STREET FAIR
The Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid
Keep an eye out for our friends Sid and Buddy the T-Rex as they stroll through the festival taking in the sights, sounds, and science of the Street Fair.
Field Station: Dinosaurs
The Dinosaur Troubadour loves nothing more than sharing his knowledge of dinosaurs through song. But keep an eye out for a life-like T-Rex who will get face-to-face with you as it roars, breaths, and wants to play with you.
More to come—check back for times and updates!
NBA All-Star and author, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar inspires kids with stories from his book What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors. Brian Greene, physicist and co-founder of the World Science Festival, will join Kareem to take a shot at learning the physics of basketball.
LaGuardia Stage: 2:30 PM.
Book signing: 3:30 – 5:30 PM at the Kimmel Center on the 2nd Floor Bookstore. (Please note: Only books will be signed, no sports memorabilia.)
Superhero Clubhouse Tree Ring Circus
Hop on stage with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty and the Superhero Clubhouse for a live performance inspired by the science of dendrochronology, the study of tree ring science.
Dance & The Brain
Choreographer, dancer, and fitness professional extraordinaire, Erin Stutland leads families through interactive dance and creative movement exercises designed to get you moving, dancing, and creating at the same time. Using a real human brain as a prop, neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki will describe what is happening to your brain as you are creating dance. Which parts of the brain are important for creativity and imagination? What about improvisation? What parts of the brain help you move?
Philadelphia Zoo’s Live Animal Performance
The wild animals of the Philadelphia Zoo march on stage.
Science of Underwater Exploration with New York City College of Technology
Uncover underwater secrets with scuba gear, diving helmets, robot-like suits, remotely operated cameras, test tubes, and microscopes.
Create origami and discover how three-dimensional shapes are made from two-dimensional materials!
Wildlife Theatre from the Central Park Zoo
Songs, games, and the fairy tale adventure of the Butterfly Boogie combine to create a fun, entertaining, and educational experience for the entire family.
The Think Tank Presents Brainwave-Powered Fun
TTT’s Braintrust will team up with neuroscientist Suzanne Dikker and her Emotiv©-powered Compatibility Racer. Put on a brainwave headset and race a competitor just with your mind.
See fabulous 3D creations with the world’s first 3D printing pen!
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Comet Show
The Intrepid team shows how to create a comet with dry ice.
The Franklin Institute Presents Science Showdown
Join us for interactive tour-de-force with two sci-athletes engaging in a battle for science supremacy.
Dynamic Physics Show with Rutgers University
Explore Sir Isaac Newton’s Law with a fire extinguisher and roller skates, rotation with a spinning professor, density explained with exploding balloons, air pressure crushing a 55-gallon steel drum, and more.
All About Mammals with Dia Michels
Test your knowledge of mammals with Dia Micheles, author of If Your Mom Were a Platypus. Aided by Snugglepus, her special Australian friend, Dia will help you discover just how special mammals are through a series of fun activities based on her book. Who knows, maybe you’ll wish you really had a platypus for a mom after you learn how cool they are?
Edible Astronomy with Dr. Donald Lubowich
See how chocolate, candy, popcorn, bagels, and cookies can be used to illustrate why the sky is blue, how planets form, and how to recreate the craters on the Moon. It’s a delicious way to get to know the solar system.
Kick it, swing it, and throw it with Up2Us and Coach Across America as they lead soccer, softball, and basketball workshops. Learn the science behind sports as you improve your sports skills with an awesome group of experts.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired American professional basketball player. He is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points. During his career with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. In college at UCLA, he played on three consecutive national championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games. At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls. Abdul-Jabbar also has been an actor, a basketball coach, and an author. In 2012, he was selected as a U.S. cultural ambassador. He is the author of seven best-selling books including On the Shoulders of Giants, which was also made a film. His next book, Sasquatch in the Paint, is due out in Fall 2013.
Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory, including the co-discoveries of mirror symmetry and topology change. His first book for general audiences, The Elegant Universe was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. His more recent books, The Fabric of the Cosmos and The Hidden Reality, were both New York Times bestsellers, and inspired the Washington Post to call him “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.” Greene’s latest project, World Science U, brings science education online with innovative digital courses available to anyone with an interest in science.
Greene makes frequent media appearances on programs such as Charlie Rose, The Colbert Report and David Letterman. He has hosted two NOVA specials, based on The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, which were nominated for four Emmy Awards and won a George Foster Peabody Award. Professor Greene is co-director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and with producer Tracy Day, he is co-founder of the World Science Festival.
After rapidly rising through the ranks of some of the world’s finest restaurants, Najat Kaanache “The Pilgrim Chef” continues to demonstrate her culinary skills not only with her creative restaurant concept but also with her tireless passion for culinary innovation, education, and clean food advocacy.
Kaanache worked in the kitchens of Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Napa and Per Se in New York City, and Ferran Adria’s El Bulli in Spain. While at the El Bulli, Kaanache seized the opportunity to learn creative freedom from Ferran Adrià which provided her the resources and ambition to create her own spectacular style of artistic Basque-Moroccan cuisine. In February of 2013, Kaanache established her own world-class restaurant in Dallas, Texas. To date, the most prestigious of Kaanache’s recognitions was her recent invitation to prepare a magical dinner at the James Beard House in 2013. She has traveled the globe to teach national level seminars on the juxtaposition of science and the culinary world from Limassol, Cyprus to Sydney, Australia and has collaborated with White House executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses, to deliver dynamic presentations for Harvard University’s “Science and Cooking” program and NYU’s “Experimental Cuisine Collective”.
Wendy Suzuki is a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University. Her research focuses on two main questions. First, she is interested in understanding how our brains allow us to learn and retain new long-term memories for facts and events. Second, she is interested in understanding the effects of aerobic exercise on our brain’s learning memory and cognitive abilities. Suzuki is a recipient of numerous grants and awards for her research including the Lindsley Prize from the Society for Neuroscience, the prestigious Troland Research award from the National Academy of Sciences and NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching award. She is also a popular lecturer at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
In addition to research and teaching she is also passionate about supporting women in science. She has teamed with Gaby Jordan, president of the education division of the Handel Group to found an organization first called “Empowering Women in Science” and now called “Empowering Young Scientists” that is currently running leadership training seminars for students and faculty at universities around the country. Suzuki has also been featured in Anne Leibovitz’s photographic essay book entitled Women.
Since January 2007, William Yosses has held the prestigious title of the White House executive pastry chef. Other executive pastry chef experience includes, The Dressing Room in Westport Connecticut, Josephs Citarella in New York City, Bouley Bakery, and Bouley Restaurant. As pastry chef of the White House he has been closely involved with Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative with the goal of reducing childhood health problems related to diet. He conducts bi-weekly tours of the White House vegetable garden for school groups. In a related project, he has given lectures on science and cooking in the school of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard University. He has delivered cooking and science presentations at The Association for the Advancement of Science, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), NYU: Experimental Cuisine Collective, UCLA, and CUNY.
Yosses earned an A.A.S. degree at New York City College of Technology in hotel management and a M.A. at Rutgers University in French language. He has published two books: Desserts for Dummies and The Perfect Finish, Special Desserts for Every Occasion.