What’s scarier than Dracula, spookier than the headless horseman, and more disturbing than a Miley Cyrus Twerking costume?
Answer: A mysterious disease called white nose syndrome. The illness is killing North American bats by the millions. Named for the white fungus that appears on the infected bat’s face and wings, the disease infects colonies of bats, making them wake up from their hibernation and causing them to leave their caves in search of insects to eat…in the dead of winter, when it’s freezing cold and there’s no insects to be found. Since 2007, when the disease was first documented, nearly 6 million bats have died from the disease, making this one of our nation’s most critical wildlife issues.
So what can you do about it? Start by learning the truth about America’s bats. They won’t drink your blood or get tangled in your hair. In fact, they are an important part of our ecosystem. This weekend, we have a family-friendly program by the Organization for Bat Conservation that will teach you and your kids the basics about bats. Plus, you’ll even get to see a few live bats in person!
Glass vials, a row of chemicals, and an alcohol lamp. Perhaps nothing symbolized the excitement of science in the early to mid-20th century better than a chemistry set. The classic kits got kids tinkering, experimenting and thinking about science. In the process, they inspired a generation of inventors and scientists, some of whom became Nobel Prize-winners. But somewhere along the way, spurred by safety concerns and legal changes, chemistry sets faded in popularity.
A new competition, launched this week, aims to find the 21st century version of the classic chemistry set. A collaboration between the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public, the Science, Play and Research Kit competition (SPARK) challenges participants to generate a new set of experiences and activities that encourage imagination and interest in science, bringing the spirit of the classic chemistry set to today’s children.
Margaret Honey, NYSCI’s president and CEO, is an advisor to the competition, which will offer tangible ways to get more kids experimenting with science.
The competition’s top award is for the best science kit prototype with a prize of $50,000. Additional prizes ranging from $1,000 – $25,000 will be awarded for runners-up and idea submissions.
Tonight, we are presenting the New York debut of Empire Drive-In, a drive-in movie theater where the cars are provided. Movies, live performances and the chance to climb in and out of wrecked cars has people buzzing.
But a deeper message underlies the fun of the outdoor shows. Artists Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark created Empire Drive-In to get people thinking about creative reuse, our disposable car culture, and technological obsolescence. The 60 cars in the installation come from a Brooklyn junkyard, the 40-foot screen is made from salvaged wood, and even the concession stand is made from recycled materials. The artists reclaimed these discarded materials: piecing them together, sprucing them up, and putting them to work again.
Now if only we could do the same for our government.
Join us at 4pm EST to catch the live stream discussion on Google Hangout. Make sure you RSVP.
STEM Career Nights at NYSCI are events that bring together professionals with NYSCI Explainers to connect, network, learn and engage in the full range of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This STEM night is about careers at Google, introducing Explainers to the diversity of people who choose to become engineers, technology experts, or other related careers. We’ll discuss how different perspectives and different backgrounds are an asset to coming up with science and engineering solutions.
Featuring panelists from Google, and moderated by the Deputy Director of the Science Career Ladder, Priya Mohabir, NYSCI will also host a special Q&A and networking session.
Schedule: • 4:00pm: Welcome Remarks by Eric Siegel, NYSCI Director & Chief Content Officer • 4:10pm: Panel Introduction & Moderation of Q&A by Priya Mohabir, Deputy Director, Science Career Ladder • 5:10pm: Closing Remarks by Ellen Wahl, Director, Youth Development & Entrepreneurship • 5:15pm: Networking Session w/ Refreshments
Dust off your soldering tools and gather up your Arduino-based dreams, because World Maker Faire is happening this weekend at NYSCI. With more than 650 makers, plus demonstrations, workshops and performances, there will be plenty of things to try out, contribute to, or simply marvel at.
And we wouldn’t miss this chance to show off some uniquely NYSCI-created projects like giant-bugs made from sheet metal and lights, work stations where you can make walk-along gliders or underwater robots, and a workshop where your littlest fairegoers can make their own superhero gadgets. And if you’ve forgotten how to solder or how to program with Arduino, don’t worry, there’s workshops for that too!
It’s clear we all need to do our part to deal with this issue. Here at NYSCI, we’ve been focusing on education. In partnership with Deutsche Bank, we developed climate change curriculums for use in middle schools and high schools. The curriculums can be downloaded for free on the My Carbon Footprint blog.
And now, we’re offering a free workshop about climate change communications on Thursday, October 10 from 10 am – 3:30 pm. Part of our work with the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), the workshop is designed for organizations and institutions that want to introduce climate change messaging into their existing programs. The workshop is open not only to groups with a primary focus of climate change education, but also to organizations interested in city systems, such as transportation or public health, that will be affected by climate change. Registration for this workshop is open through September 30. Do your part and register!
These resources, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates, have a carbon footprint of 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide every year.
How can we help? Solutions in developed nations include decreasing portion sizes, developing organic waste alternatives like composting, and giving leftover food from restaurants to charities. For the developing world, better storage and distribution techniques are necessary.
Besides being a heavy contributor to greenhouse gases, food waste puts pressure on a system already struggling to feed the world’s population. To be more careful with our food supply today means not only helping the planet, but helping its inhabitants as well.
Rover Camille is a robotic replica of a Mars rover that helps our visitors learn about the Red Planet. Named after Camille Beatty, one of the rover’s creators, the robot is made from 750 parts, many of which were built from scratch. But perhaps the most extraordinary part of this story is the creators themselves; two young girls from North Carolina built the rover with their father in their garage.
Camille, age 13, and sister Genevieve, age 11, worked together on soldering, machining, designing and assembling the rover. Just last month, the rover was unveiled to an appreciative crowd at NYSCI.
The two girls are currently working on a second rover for NYSCI, to be named Genevieve. As for rover Camille – will she be given a chance to roam free like Curiosity? Not likely. But word on the street is she’s been eyeing the two rockets located just outside her exhibit.
The Last Reef Receives Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Nominations
The 3D movie The Last Reef, which explores the planet’s vanishing coral reefs, has been nominated in two categories of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Competition: Best Immersive 3D/Large Format and Best Original Musical Score. The Film Competition is part of the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and is considered to be the Oscars of nature filmmaking. Winners will be announced on September 26. The Last Reef is showing in our 3D theater daily through September 9.