The Phillies may have succumbed to the Mets in a rainy 6-1 loss on Tuesday night, but fans still proved victorious with science in the 4th Annual Science Night at the Ballpark event. As part of the week-long Philadelphia Science Festival, multiple local companies and institutions showed their support by bringing fun, interactive, and educational presentations to Citizens Bank Park. Presenters included the Philadelphia Zoo, the Franklin Institute, Dow Chemical, NASA, and several area Universities, among others.
The weather was less than cooperative, with temperatures in the high 40's, and cold rain and wind cutting down on attendance. The event was still successful, however, because it focused on providing entertaining, hand-on examples of science in action. The Franklin Institute presented several demonstrations of how science can apply to baseball. Participants could test their reflexes in a pinch-drop test or stand atop a spinning disc and swing a baseball bat to demonstrate Newton's laws of motion. The University of the Sciences of Philadelphia demonstrated several strength and conditioning tests and exercises, and then explained how these same exercises can be used to help athletes recover from injury. Thomas Jefferson University offered several mental challenges as well as the difficulties of experiencing a concussion using specially-designed goggles. Dow had on hand the #3 Chevrolet SS driven by Austin Dillon in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, and highlighted how many of the technical advances found in the race car have also been applied to everyday household items.
The event also proved that if fun and interactive displays weren't enough by themselves, free stuff is also incentive to get people interested in your table. NASA provided construction model kits of the new Orion and Space Launch System crafts, AT&T allowed you to create and print your own Cheer Cards to help root for the Phillies, while the Philadelphia Free Library let participants construct and keep a baseball puppet. Also, each individual booth would provide an event stamp that, after collecting a minimum of five, could be redeemed for a free, environmentally-friendly water bottle from the Phillies organization.
While Science Night at the Ballpark may be over, there are still plenty of events left to attend this week for the Philly Science Festival. A schedule of the remaining events can be found here.