Cambridge Science Festival

April 14 - 23, 2017

Every April the MIT Museum presents the Cambridge Science Festival in collaboration with the City of Cambridge, community organizations, schools, universities, and businesses. Come to the Museum and enjoy a week filled with workshops, hands-on activities, demonstrations, tours and more. 

Costs included with Museum admission unless otherwise noted. Registration for our popular workshops is now open.

Recommended Audience key:
F = Families
T = Teens
A = Adults

Apr. 15 | Apr. 16 | Apr. 17 | Apr. 18 | Apr. 19 | Apr. 20 | Apr. 21 | Apr. 22 | Apr. 23

 

Saturday, April 15

MIT ClubChem Magic Show (F,T)
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

MIT undergraduate chemists unravel the science behind chemical magic.

Scratch in the Idea Hub (F,T,A)

12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Design a simple video game or animation using the block-based programming language Scratch.

Youth Balinese Workshop (F, T)
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Surround yourself with a musical tradition like no other and try your hand at playing the bright, percussive gamelan instruments of Bali, Indonesia. In this one-hour workshop led by the directors of the Cambridge Youth Gamelan, learn to play the metallophones, gongs, hand drums, and cymbals that make up gamelan music. The workshop will conclude with a short performance by members of the Cambridge Youth Gamelan and MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika. No prior musical experience necessary! Students ages 9-14 are welcome.
Registration is now closed.

 

Both/And - A Quantum Physics Play (T,A)
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The premiere of an inventive one-act play, part comedy, part poetry, and all inquiry into a major scientific experiment taking place right now. A project of Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, the science-theater partnership between Central Square Theater and MIT. Free event.

 

Sunday, April 16

Creative Kinetic Sculptures in the Idea Hub (F,T,A)
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Create a unique moving art object engineered to move with gears, cams, linkages, and pulleys.

Reality Show: Stalking the Musical Brain (F,T,A)
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

MIT neuroscientists, musicians, and composers explore what happens to our brains in the presence of music. Free event.

 

Monday, April 17

Robots and Beyond Mini Tours (F)
10:15 - 10:45 a.m. & 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Explore our robots gallery with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator. Limited to 25 participants per tour. Tickets available at 10:00 a.m. for the first tour, and 10:30 a.m. for the second on a first-come, first-served basis. Families with children under age 12 only.

Workshop: The Building Olympics (F)
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Use your building skills to design and create the tallest towers, catapults, and devices to advance in the Building Olympics. Cost: $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 8-10. 
Registration is now closed.

Mathternoon @ the MIT Museum (F,T)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Enjoy paper folding, slide rules, and graph theory challenges during this numerically-replete afternoon.

 

Tuesday, April 18

Chain Reaction FUNstruction (F,T,A)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Teams create and set off a chain reaction contraption.

This event is part of MIT's Together In Service program, uniting students, faculty, staff, and alumni with local partners to strengthen our communities and learn from one another through service.

Workshop: Girl-Powered Smart Devices (T)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

During this two-hour hands-on workshop, participants will use block programming to build their own smart device. Walk away with your own high tech accessories developed by MIT graduate student, Larissa Nietner. Come explore, build, and code! No experience is needed during this engineering meets wearable session. This program is intended for young women ages 12-15. Pre-registration on Eventbrite required.
Registration is now closed.

 

Gestural Engineering Tour (T,A)
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Explore the work of kinetic artist Arthur Ganson with Programs Director Brindha Muniappan as your guide. Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available one half-hour before tour starts on a first-come, first-served basis. Teens and adults only.

Workshop: Coding and Game Development (F)
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Build a computer game using StarLogo Nova. Participants under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Cost: $10 (includes Museum admission). Ages 8+.
Registration is now closed.

Is It Real or Fake? (T,A)
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

A discussion of where fake news comes from, how it spreads, and how to identify it, followed by an on-site fake news game show. Join WBUR reporter Jack Lepiarz in a conversation with Ethan Zuckerman (Director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT), Melissa Zimdars (Assistant Professor of Communication at Merrimack College), and Rob May (CEO of Talla) who will discuss where fake news comes from, how it spreads, and how to identify it. And, find out if our panelists can bluff you in an on-site fake news game show!

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Limited seating and standing room available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free event.

 

Wednesday, April 19

The Next Frontier: Virtual & Artificial Reality Day (F,T,A)
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Researchers, game developers, and engineers showcase what’s next in virtual and augmented reality.

Dimensions of Light Tour (T,A)
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Tour the Museum’s holograms with Museum Studio Manager and light artist Seth Riskin. Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available one half-hour before tour starts on a first-come, first-served basis. Teens and adults only.

Workshop: Introduction to Comic Book Making (T)
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Learn what it takes to be a comic book author from MakingComics expert, Patrick Yurick. $10 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 13+. 
Registration is now closed.

 

 

Thursday, April 20

Workshop: Futuristic Building Challenge for Students w/ Special Needs and Learning Disabilities (T,A)
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Cancelled

It's year 3020, and all we have left are recycled materials. Can you use these items to make a model of our new space station and the beginnings of a space suit? Join our team as we discuss what makes a structure stand tall and withstand destruction. Work together or individually as we battle this space challenge and showcase our prototypes. This workshop is intended for youth ages 11 to 16 with special needs and/or learning disabilities and their parent/guardian. 

Data Sculptures in the Idea Hub (F,T,A)
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Build unique physical representations as you explore interesting ways to visualize and tell stories with data.

Tourneboeuf’s Images of South Africa Tour (T,A)
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Tour the Patrick Tourneboeuf photography exhibition The Diamond Trace with Architecture & Design Curator, Gary Van Zante. Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available one half-hour before tour starts on a first-come, first-served basis. Teens and adults only.

Workshop: Capturing Science: A Photography Workshop for Adults (A)
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Cancelled

Learn how to use strobe lights, and explore the photography of Doc Edgerton and Berenice Abbott in an interactive workshop held within our Images of Discovery exhibition. Cost: $15. Ages 18+. Pre-registration on Eventbrite required.
 

 

Friday, April 21

Celebrating the Earth (F,T,A)
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Hear about the latest advances in oceanographic research and alternative energy options from experts working in the field.

Workshop: Engineer Biology Hands-On! Session I (T,A)
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Learn how genetic engineers produce medicine, food, fuel, household products, and now, materials in this two-day workshop. Participants must attend both sessions on Apr 21 and 22. Cost: $25 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+. 
Registration is now closed.

Undersea Robotics Tour (T,A)
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Kurt Hasselbalch, Curator of the Hart Nautical Collections, talks about MIT's many connections to autonomous underwater vehicle development and nature-inspired robotics. Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available one half-hour before tour starts on a first-come, first-served basis. Teens and adults only.

 

Saturday, April 22

Marvelous Molecules (F,T,A)
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

An invitation to a spectacular morning of chemistry magic presented by Dr. John Dolhun of MIT. We’ll enjoy colorful transformations, smoking balloons, invisible gasses, magical polymers, flaming vapors, chemiluminescence, a simulation of the colors of fireworks and much more.

Creative Kinetic Sculptures in the Idea Hub (F,T,A)
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Create a unique moving art object engineered to move with gears, cams, linkages, and pulleys.

Engineer Biology Hands-On! Session II (T,A)
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Learn how genetic engineers produce medicine, food, fuel, household products, and now, materials in this two-day workshop.  Participants must attend both sessions on Apr 21 and 22. Cost: $25 per participant (includes Museum admission). Ages 12+.
Registration is now closed.

 

How to Make a Superhero (A)
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Join us for an evening of "speed geeking" and engaging conversations with super researchers who know a bit about the gadgets, materials, and psyche of superheroes.
Cost: $20, $25 (at the door). Includes admission and complimentary cocktail. Costumes encouraged! Doors open at 6:30 p.m.. Ages 21+ only. Pre-registration on Eventbrite recommended.
Eventbrite - How To Make A Superhero

 

Sunday, April 23

3D Printing and Design in the Idea Hub (F,T,A)
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Learn how to design in three dimensions and explore how 3-D printers can turn digital models into reality.

SoundScience Fun! (F,T)
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. & 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Sing along and explore the science of sound through the magic of music.