The fourth annual Philadelphia Science Festival runs from Friday, April 25, to Saturday, May 3, at various sites across the city.
Organized by The Franklin Institute, the nine-day festival of discovery and innovation is a collaboration between the city’s leading universities, museums, research centers, and high-tech companies.
Penn’s presence will include students, faculty, and staff from many of the University’s schools and labs. School of Veterinary Medicine researchers will discuss the role of animals in human public health; neuroscientists from the Perelman School of Medicine will hold forth on the function of sleep and how brains change over the course of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; and a psychologist from Penn Arts & Sciences will reveal how our vocal chords may determine our romantic partners.
The University will also participate in one of the Festival’s signature events—the West Philly Science Showcase, on Tuesday, April 29 at World Cafe Live. Penn researchers will join colleagues from Drexel University, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the Wistar Institute, the University City Science Center, and the University of the Sciences in a series of rapid-fire talks. Topics will range from the science of beer to how Facebook posts can be used to predict a user’s personality. Tickets are available online.
Signature events from previous Science Festivals will be making repeat appearances, such as Science Night at the Ballpark, which will turn a Phillies game into an interactive sports science museum, and Astronomy Night, during which professional and amateur astronomers around the city will bring out their telescopes to give tours of the night sky, along with lectures, activities, and snacks.
Discovery Day at Clark Park is also returning on Saturday, April 26, with family-friendly events and hands-on activities that will showcase the science of the outdoors.
New this year is Mess Fest, which will be held on Sunday, April 27 at Smith Memorial Playground in Fairmount Park. The event will feature interactive experiences for kids of all ages who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty.
On Saturday, May 3, the annual Science Carnival will close out the Festival. Bigger than ever, more than 150 booths, presentations, and exhibits will assemble on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The Science Festival calendar is now available, and features hundreds of lectures, film screenings, lab tours, hands-on experiments, and more. Most events are free.