Since its inception in 2011, the Philadelphia Science Festival has aimed to get Philadelphians to embrace their inner nerd self. After all, this is the city that Ben Franklin discovered electricity in. So grab your kites and keys (no, wait—don’t!) and meet us around town for the Philadelphia Science Festival, running from Friday, April 25 through Saturday, May 3.
The 10-day festival officially gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25 for the kick-off party at the Franklin Institute. This adults-only party will have science experiments and demonstrations tailored to your refined grown-up tastes. Speaking of taste, Yards official Science Festival beer will be available.
Friday, April 25 is the festival’s astronomy night. Among the 26 locations throughout the city and the surrounding area, John Jenks Elementary School, Haverford College and Laurel Hill Cemetery are hosting star-gazing sessions, complete with various demonstrations and refreshments. Don’t forget to bring your chairs and blankets. Each location's session starts at 7:30 p.m.
The following day, Saturday, April 26 is deemed “Discovery Day,” where children are encouraged to experiment with and learn about the science behind everyday objects and experiences. Naturepalooza centers on the environment and Earth Day at the Schuylkill Center at 11 a.m.
“Explorer Sunday” is the name of the game on Sunday, April 27. Students and families can attend one of the many exploration-themed events throughout the area, like Temple Pharmacy Lab’s Making Medicine session. Starting at 10 a.m., aspiring pharmacists can mix chemicals and learn how to make their own ointment.
If you’re just waking up at noon on Sunday, April 27 after a long, exciting night, perhaps you should grab a coffee and head to Frankford Hall for Nerd Nite Brunch: Body vs. Booze to learn the science behind that Sunday morning headache (and maybe how to cure it).
Round out your weekend with a science crawl—all about brain functions. Take a tour around Old City and learn about various parts of the brain and what their responsibilities are at this five-stop crawl. It all starts at Indy Hall at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 27.
It's common knowledge that Philly sports fans are a little intense. But what if all of those high-charged emotions can be explained with science? That’s what you'll find out about on Monday, April 28 at Phanatics: Philadelphia’s Love/Hate Relationship with Sports at 6 p.m. at Frankford Hall. Then take that knowledge and put it into action the next night, Tuesday, April 29 for Science Night at the Ballpark. Watch the Phillies take on the New York Mets and try out the numerous science activities throughout Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and it's dollar dog night.
Learn about local research initiatives at the West Philly Science Showcase, where experts from the University of Pennsylvania, University City Science Center, Monell Chemical Senses Center, The Wistar Institute, University of the Sciences, and Drexel University will discuss some projects on Tuesday, April 29, starting at 6 p.m. at World Café Live.
If you’ve ever wondered what emotions aren’t exclusive to humans, then Frankford Hall is where you need to be on Wednesday, April 30 for Love, Lust and Loathing: The Science Behind Our Strongest Emotions. The hour-long session, starting at 6 p.m., explores the physiology behind our innermost desires.
Don’t fall asleep during this bedtime story. Fels Planetarium hosts a sleep-centric seminar on Wednesday, April 30 for those who want to know why humans need sleep. Cookies and milk are included at this 6:30 p.m. event.
Any food science expert will tell you all of the chemical reactions that occur to produce the food we eat. Get a bit of that knowledge on Thursday, May 1 at DIY Science: Fermentation. Turn milk into cheese—and taste your own creation—at DiBruno Brothers at 6 p.m.
Learn about beer while you’re drinking it. Beer chemistry offers visitors at Yards Brewing Co. a crash course in the effects alcohol has on the human body. It goes down on Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m.
The festival comes to a close on Saturday, May 3 and the Franklin Institute is throwing the ultimate party. Starting at 10 a.m., the Parkway transforms into a science carnival, hosting over 150 exhibitors, games, food, entertainment and plenty of family-friendly science experiments.