Wisconsin Science Festival seeks partners to expand statewide

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After a rousing debut last fall in Madison, the Wisconsin Science Festival is encouraging supporters of learning and science from around the state to help expand the festival during its second year by staging local events this Sept. 27-30.

"We are planning an even bigger and bolder schedule of people, music, art and explosions this year," stated Laura Heisler, director of the festival and programming for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. "We are thrilled that children's museums and libraries from across the state already are planning local science-related events in their communities, and we'd love for more organizations to contact us and get involved, also."

People and groups interested in hosting activities in their communities can find details and an online application by visiting the festival website. Events submitted by Aug. 15 will be included in the festival's promotion, which is being expanded this year to neighboring states due to a Joint Effort Marketing grant awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

People of all ages will be able to touch, taste, look, listen and discover the wonders of science, art and innovation through hands-on interactive exhibits and workshops, lectures and demonstrations with leading researchers and creative thinkers. The events planned for Madison include returning crowd favorites such as dancing scientists, the physics of football and live science fiction radio.

The festival explores the natural world in new and exciting ways from the science of making bratwurst and beer to investigating the connections between music and our brains. In addition to activities for the general public, K-12 teachers can attend helpful professional workshops in Madison, including sessions conducted by the education teams behind PBS' NOVA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Many festival activities in Madison will be held in the Town Center at the award-winning Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at 330 N. Orchard St., with events taking place elsewhere on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, at the Madison Children's Museum and in those communities with local events organized by festival partners.

Sponsored by UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and about a dozen other organizations as well as several corporate sponsors, the Wisconsin Science Festival seeks to inspire, educate and develop global citizens by raising awareness and understanding of science.

Events in Madison will culminate with a talk by Sir Ken Robinson, an international leader in education, creativity and innovation and the most watched and discussed speaker in the history of the prestigious TED Conference.

Entry to most festival sites will be free, though some may charge their usual admission fees. A few activities may require nominal materials fees or costs for refreshments.

Story by Janet Kelly, University Communications