Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Science blows up real good in Philly

Franklin Institute's Awards Week goes on line today, then the Science Festival blows up with a fantastically fun feat on Friday.

Science blows up real good in Philly

(Left to right) Daniel Lopez, Ashish Vinodkumar, Charles Bacigalupo and Ryan Lanphear design their segment of a Rube Goldberg machine, featuring a toy dinosaur that will activate an electric fan. A total of 16 groups will be building different segments of the machine, aiming to break a world record. (Tom Avril/Staff photo)
(Left to right) Daniel Lopez, Ashish Vinodkumar, Charles Bacigalupo and Ryan Lanphear design their segment of a Rube Goldberg machine, featuring a toy dinosaur that will activate an electric fan. A total of 16 groups will be building different segments of the machine, aiming to break a world record. (Tom Avril/Staff photo)

Both the brains and brawn of science are up for celebration in Philadelphia this week.

First as The Franklin Institute welcomes its’ latest crop of internationally esteemed “Laureates” to town for demos, a gala award ceremony and this afternoon’s first-ever live streamed “Meet the Scientists” discussion with students local and global. All connecting, as can you, at www.fi.edu/meet-the-scientists starting at 1:55 p.m. Questions can be submitted via Twitter at #MTS2014.

Always a high-powered group, this year’s nine honorees include, most visibly, pacemaker pioneer Bill George of Medtronics (also doing a free address at the F.I. Thursday morning at 9), and magnetic recording compression wizards Shunichi Iwasaki and Mark Kryder. The Franklin Institute Awards have been handed out a mere 189 years. Past laureates include the likes of Thomas Edison, Jane Goodall, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates.   

More impressed by “big bang” science? Come Friday morning, the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival flexes its muscles with a loud and dazzling send-off, as sponsors Franklin Institute and Drexel University attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest Rube Goldberg Machine. Open to all gawkers, the event will be staged by 45 engineering students, setting off a string of more than 350 wacky and whimsical “energy transfers” that will  finally unfurl (fingers crossed) the festival banner. While sure to be posted on-line, the drama will best be enjoyed and cheered live between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Friday in The Atrium at Bosson Research Enterprise Center, Market Street between 31st and 32nd Streets. (Yes, the staging venue has been changed.)

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
About this blog
Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them – for the Philadelphia Daily News, philly.com and the McClatchy Tribune News Service. Reach Jonathan at takiffj@phillynews.com.

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected