This past weekend it was my great thrill and honor to be a part of the World Science Festival in New York City.
From their website, www.worldsciencefestival.com:
Our mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.
The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Through discussions, debates, theatrical works, interactive explorations, musical performances, intimate salons, and major outdoor experiences, the Festival takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of New York City and beyond.
I bolded the last part of their work. That is because I think that’s the most important thing that this organization does, gets science OUT to the real world, where the people are. If you know me, you know that I am very passionate about science, particularly as it applies to technology and engineering. So being a part of this amazing organization was a definite career and personal high.
Why am I telling you this? Because they invited me to be a part of this event not for my science degree, or the fact that I am a middle school science instructor, but because I write science books for kids! Yes, this weekend was a true mix of science and literacy.
Saturday night I was a part of the Saturday Night Lights: Stargazing at Brooklyn Bridge Park event.
We played science trivia mostly centered around my book, Astronaut- Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact (NGKids, 2018). As you can see on the screen, I asked questions and they voted on which they’d rather be– astronaut or aquanaut. It was close, but astronauts won (not surprising since the entire night was focused on space).
The rest of the night was an exciting mix of on-stage science experiments (who doesn’t like to see things blow up?) and scientists talking about Dark Matter. (wow!) But the literacy/STEM tie-in wasn’t done. Another scientist/children’s author came to the stage to share her book, but in a unique way. It was a journey of what you might see while “vacationing” on Mars. Jana Grcevich has her PhD in astronomy and wrote this fun book:
The final part of the night was truly amazing because world-famous conductor and composer Eric Whitacre played the music that he wrote to Deep Field, the images of over 3,000 galaxies that were found using the Hubble Space Telescope. Eric shared his artistic journey for creating this piece of music. To my surprise, it was similar to how I write a book. As the music poured out of the speakers, we all stood in awe and watched the awesome images of galaxies millions of miles away from us appear on the big screen. To have the music mixed with the science made a a true STEAM moment if I’ve ever seen one. It was quite simply… magical.
Even if you aren’t into science, you will mostly likely be enthralled by this video. It is spectacular. That, my friends, is the feeling of science that I would love everyone to experience. I endeavor to show my passion and excitement for science through my books. Eric does it so well with his music. Both ways are wonderful. Science and the arts are not separate, but are intertwined. They both engage the senses, inspire passion, and show passion for science in similar ways. It is my hope that kids and adults everywhere can see that science is not scary, or boring, but surrounds us every day in everything we do. However you choose to do science, is perfectly correct.
I invite you to go out and STEAM up the world!