Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NERD CRAFT: the grown-up science fair

This bright idea comes from the Treehouse Group, “a collective of Toronto-area thinkers who come together to create innovative solutions to pressing social problems.” Thanks to Becky for sending it along.


The Grown-Up Science Fair

Do you find yourself reminiscing about the awesomeness that was your
Grade 6 science fair? Are you still kicking yourself for choosing the
Egg Drop over the (clearly superior) Volcano? Do you feel as though
you never really had your moment in the Science and Technology-
related sun?

The Grown-Up Science Fair is an attempt to rekindle this passion, and
to allow you to revisit those halcyon days. Join us on May 10, as
part of the city-wide event Science Rendezvous, to peruse science
fair projects from a wide assortment ofToronto's best and brightest.
Artists, government workers, teachers, lawyers, musicians, and maybe
even some real scientists, will try their hands at employing the
scientific method to find answers to all manner of burning questions,
big and small. Some great prizes will be given away, and it will be
an excellent opportunity to see creative problem-solving in action.

Taking Part:

Whether you consider yourself to be naturally "Science-y" or not,
you are welcome to take part in the Grown-Up Science Fair - all you
need is the right question and a little imagination! The Treehouse
Group's aim is to create opportunities for collaboration between
people from a wide variety of different backgrounds, so whether you
are involved in arts, sciences, politics, or anything in-between, we
would love to see you there with a science project in tow. Studies
have shown that the most innovative ideas in various areas of science
come from people who are new to the field, so don't be daunted by a
fear of science – you're probably better at it than you think.

Email sciencefair@treehousegroup.org if you would like to suggest
science-fair topics and get involved. On this page we will keep a
list of our science fair participants and their projects. All
participants have the opportunity to win one of many prizes from
businesses, museums, and organisations from across Toronto.

What to do:

1. Pose a question: Silly or serious, your question needs to be
testable by some sort of experiment.

2. Suggest a hypothesis: Take a stab at answering your question,
based on what you know of the topic. If you have no idea, take a wild

3. Test your hypothesis: This is the fun part: test your
hypothesis by performing one or a set of experiments. Keep track of
the materials you use and your procedure.

4. Conclusion: Was your hypothesis correct?

The Treehouse Group can help by answering your questions. If we give
your project the ok, we will provide you with a big, awesome 3-panel
science project board circa 1988 and a package of information to
guide you. Also, if you want to meet with others and discuss an idea
to see if it's feasible, join us for a drop in session at the
Victory Café on Friday April 11 from 7 – 9 pm. Deadline for idea
submissions is Saturday April 12.

If you need more ideas, go to www.treehousegroup.org and check out
the links and suggested topic ideas. Also, Join the Grown-Up Science
Fair group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9050284131
and show you're hip with the interweb!


Even if you don't want to create a science project, put May 10 on
your calendars and drop by the Victory Café to check out the projects
and look at the world through the lens of science for an evening.
(Highlights: screening of 80s science movies, a bubbling volcano, and
some great conversation).

The Grown-Up Science Fair
When: Saturday May 10, Doors: 7:30 pm;
Where: The Victory Café, 581 Markham Street (@ Bathurst), Upstairs;
Who: You! And anybody else you'd like to forward this to.


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