The thrill of discovery: Atlanta Science Festival returns next monthRuby Caplan (left) and other children pet a Burmese python held by Alli Scott from the Georgia Reptile Society during an Atlanta Science Festival media preview at First Christian Church of Decatur on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Jaedon Mason, contributor
Atlanta, GA — The Atlanta Science Festival will take place from March 10-25.
This will be the 10th festival and is set to be the largest yet, with 150 science events over the course of 2 weeks (65 of which are free). These events are not just for kids.
Some adult-friendly events to look out for are the recurring Breaking Down the Bean events, focused on coffee brewing; the Water, the Source of Civilizations event exploring water’s role in human history through art; the Paranormal Phenomena and Pseudo Science event, about aliens, astrology and the like and their relationship to science; and Jazz Hands: A science comedy event.
The full list of events is available on the website, including details about The Exploration Expo in Piedmont Park on Saturday, March 25.
The Exploration Expo will host interactive booths and live science demos—basically a science fair on steroids—with activities for people of all ages. And as cool as it will be to “Travel back in time and 3-D print bones,” a recent media preview gave a sense of what makes this event unmissable.
Organizers hosted the preview in a relatively large room in the basement of a First Christian Church of Decatur.
Attendees could smell what space smells like (exactly how you’d think, by the way) or try a better-than-you-would-think cookie made of mealworms.
The preview event created many familiar, memorable scenes.
Jaws dropped when Christina Buffo explained how far away Pluto was if the sun was in Piedmont Park
Kids bubbled with excitement, holding out their bags waiting for Amy Wang, another ChEmory member, to pour in the borax and food coloring to make Gleup—an iteration of the classic, slimey, food-coloring polymer experiment.
Squealing, before cautiously poking and prodding various bugs.
All this activity came to a crescendo when the Ball Python was lifted from its cage and everyone gathered around to see it.
Sara Orr with Georgia Tech said it was, “Cool to kinda simplify it back to a kid level…gets you back in touch with the wonder and excitement.”
A group of kids from the Jewish Kids Group that normally come to the church for after-care got a sneak peek of the upcoming festivities.
There were five tables: one for a chemistry demo by ChEmory, the Emory University affiliate of the American Chemistry Society; one with hive insects, from the Goodisman Lab at Georgia Tech; one with reptiles from Georgia Reptile Society; one dedicated to mealworm consumption from WunderGrubs; and one dedicated to space from Georgia Tech Space Enthusiasts.
With chemicals, microscopes, Petri dishes and models of parts of our solar system, the exhibitors depicted a more local, “touchable” side of science.
Jonathon Lin of ChEmory said he “wasn’t even good at chemistry…but I got into it when I saw a demo Emory club fair. It made me realize that this stuff was not only cool, but could be for me, too.”
The awe and wonder of a new generation awakening to the thrill of revelation felt richer than nostalgia.
The Atlanta Science Festival creates a place for kids and adults to embrace curiosity and celebrate the feeling of wide-eyed astonishment at a new discovery before asking, “Can touch it?”
To learn more about the Atlanta Science Festival, click here.
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