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Science and Storytime

Sunday, June 2, 2019
11:00 am - 4:30 pm

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.

Science and Storytime Schedule:


11:00 AM — Brian Floca, Moonshot: The Fight of Apollo 11 
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with Caldecott Medal winner Brian Floca, who will discuss the inspiration, research, writing, and drawings behind his award-winning book Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11.



12:00 PM — Bruce Goldstone, Super Summer 
With summer right around the corner, learn how to build sundials to tell time using only the sun just like your ancient ancestors. Join author Bruce Goldstone in this interactive storytime session to explore the mystery of the seasons.



1:30 PM — Ruth Spiro, Made by Maxine 
Maxine uses the scientific method to build just about everything in Ruth Spiro’s new book. Make a catapult to safely shoot food into a fishbowl and learn the physics behind these flipping feeders that Maxine, and you, construct.



2:30 PM — Rachel Dougherty, Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge 
Discover Emily Roebling, the woman behind the success of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and then put on your engineering hat to experiment with tension, weights, and springs. You’ll be ready to build your own bridge in no time.


3:45 PM — Lily Xu, A.I. is for Animals 
How is artificial intelligence helping protect the world’s most endangered animals? In this new short film by the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, meet the researchers who are deploying cutting edge AI in 600 global parks to defeat armed poachers. Conduct interactive experiments with USC researcher, Lily Xu, to understand just how these supercomputer brains work.


Leanna McMillinScience Communicator, Comedian

Leanna McMillin is a curatorial assistant at the New York Botanical Garden. She hosts the Webby-nominated educational show Everything Explained and co-hosts the Brooklyn Free Speech program, Saturday Morning Live with Braden and Leanna.

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Jennifer SwansonAuthor

Jennifer Swanson is the award-winning author of over 35 nonfiction books for children. Swanson’s passion for science resonates in all her books. She is the creator of the STEM Tuesday blog and the President and Founder of KidLiteracy, Inc., a literacy nonprofit.

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Rachel DoughertyAuthor, Illustrator

Rachel Dougherty is the illustrator of three educational picture books, Your Life as a Cabin Attendant on the Titanic, Your Life as a Pioneer on the Oregon Trail, and The Twelve Days of Christmas in Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong history buff and believes that some of the best stories out there are the true ones.

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Brian FlocaAuthor, Illustrator

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of Locomotive, winner of the 2013 Caldecott Medal; Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Lightship, also a Sibert Honor Book; and Racecar Alphabet, an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

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Bruce GoldstoneAuthor

Bruce Goldstone has written more than a dozen books for children, many of which encourage readers to see the playful side of math and numbers, such as Great Estimations, I See a Pattern Here, 100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days, and That’s a Possibility! His latest book, Super Summer, completes his exploration of the sights, smells, and science of the seasons.

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Ruth SpiroAuthor

Ruth Spiro is the author of the Baby Loves Science board book series, published by Charlesbridge. Titles include Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, Baby Loves Coding, and Baby Loves Green Energy. She hopes her books inspire kids to observe the world, ask questions, and when it comes to their futures, dream big!

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Lily XuComputer Scientist

Lily Xu is a PhD student studying computer science at the University of Southern California. She is part of the USC Center for AI in Society (CAIS), which aims to leverage artificial intelligence to address issues in conservation, public health, and public security.

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