Where The Science Is… Winter/Spring 2015

Flat concept, Set modern design with happy new year 2015 sign ic

Happy New Year folks! I am so excited for what this year has in store and I am personally looking forward to a year of curiosity, exploration and discovery. There are plenty of fun and exciting science and technology centered events happening this year and the goal of this is post is to get you hyped and calendared for the bigger events, particularly those that will need tickets, registration or any sort of advanced planning! This post will also highlight some upcoming science competitions that kids can participate in.

So get out your planner, open a window for your Google or Outlook calendar and let’s pencil in some dates shall we? …yes, I’ll wait… Ready? Here we go…

January 12NASA Goddard Optimus Prime Spinoff Challenge! This challenge actually opened up last year but all entries are due by January 12. Although this is a tight deadline if you are just finding out about it, it is worth a try if you can get your video completed. The challenge is for students in grades 3-12 to help share the benefits of NASA technologies by using NASA spinoff technologies to save lives and protect our planet. Such spin-off technologies were originally created for space and include the memory foam, artificial limbs, and aircraft anti-icing systems and so on. Students can choose from an exhaustive list, study it, create a video discussing their knowledge of said technology and how they would use it on earth and send in their entry! I know this is very short notice but it should be fun if you do decide to do turn something in! At the very least, you will be better prepared for the 2016 Challenge! I’m looking forward to my kid becoming eligible in 2016. And remember to be creative with your video entries. Check out these winners.

February 4 or thereaboutsDoodle 4 Google!!! I LOVE THIS COMPETITION. This is what science is to a kid right? Imagination. Invention. Creativity. Cool factor. This yearly competition for kids in grades K-12 encourages students to submit their own creative interpretation of the Google logo. There is a different theme every year and the winning logo is animated and featured on Google’s home page. Prizes include $30,000 in college scholarship and a trip to Google headquarters in San Francisco… for which they will need a parent to take them right? Right?! THIS COULD BE YOUR KID! 🙂 So the competition went from February 4 to March 20 last year; this year’s dates have not been announced but go ahead and note it in your calendar. Also, I will be sure to post a reminder on the Where The Science Is Facebook Page or Twitter once the announcement is made. Another reason to LIKE the page and/or follow on twitter!

Also in February or thereabouts – is the Google Science Fair 2015. For this, just go ahead and pencil in for the beginning of February so you can start to look out for a tweet or FB post from me, because… I’ve got your back! Details from 2014 are vast and rules-a-plenty. Exact date TBA. Eligible ages are 13 -18 years old. Prizes from 2014 included just a NatGeo Expedition… that all. There is also bragging rights and a long list of prizes. Again, THIS COULD BE YOUR KID!

February 26 – Fans of StarTalk radio show and COSMOS will love this one! The one and only Neil deGrasse Tyson will appear at DAR Constitution Hall to speak to an audience about the wonders of modern science. This is a family friendly event and will use a visual approach to explain complex topics in a fun and accessible way. Children are encouraged to attend and to ask questions in a Q&A session that will follow. Tickets are still available and range from $65 – $88. You can purchase tickets here.

April 25Robot Fest 2015! I told you I had some fun stuff. So, what had happened was… last year I stumbled on this event 2 weeks after it occurred and was quite sad I missed it. That will not be the case this year because I am all penciled in! Robot Fest is an annual event for anyone interested in the creative use of technology. This event will feature “roboticists, hackers, artists, hobbyists and makers of any age who have the unquenchable urge to develop and create new, previously unseen forms from lifeless electronics, fabrics and mechanical parts.” So. Much. FUN. See you there! Oh! The link I provided above is for last year’s event but the folks over there have informed me that the 2015 date is April 25.

Also April 25 – Ugh. I hate when this happens. Yes, Maryland Day and Robot Fest are on the same day. Maryland Day is a fun, interactive, family friendly event, with live music and food, that is held annually at my alma mater, University of Maryland College Park. Yes, Duke alums are welcome. 😉 This is a huge event that is sectioned off based on topic; of particular interest is Science & Tech Way which will feature displays and topics such as laser technology, extreme robotics, a wind tunnel, outer space, modern electronic devices and the weather. Well, is it going to be Robot Fest or Maryland Day on April 25? Choose wisely!

May 2 – Most people do not think of science and technology when they think of the Kennedy Center but you will be surprised by some of the hidden gems it offers. The upcoming NSO (National Symphony Orchestra) ensemble concert titled Connections: Science & Math + Music featuring Cellist and host Yvonne Caruthers promises to be quite intriguing. The program will show 26 ways (a full alphabet’s worth!) that math and science are related to music. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Tickets go on sale February 4 and are $20.

So you are all covered for Winter and Spring, no? I will send an updated list for Summer and Fall once events start going up. Pick one or two or all if you wish and I would love to hear about you and your family’s experiences! Leave a comment here, on Facebook or tweet me @whereDscienceis.  Wishing you all a great year! 🙂



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