2011 World Science Fest Street Fair Enthralls Kids


The 2011 World Science Festival in New York City culminated in a street fair by New York University and Washington Square Park. The event boasted six hours of scientifically inspiring entertainment.

So as you might imagine, children were everywhere and science experiments were rampant.

I brought my wife, photographer Bonnie J. Heath along, so I thought I'd share some images from the street fair. Like the rest of the World Science Festival, the fair was really encouraging.

Neurologists talked up the science of ping pong. Kids created their own custom scents at the Smell Lab and volunteers roamed the crowd with interactive math and science activities.

Here are some more sights:

Hosted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the CSI Experience challenged kids with the basics of blood spatter analysis and DNA evidence. Oh, and there was also this mock crime scene. Note the ink pen buried in the victim's neck. My favorite moment was when one kid asked the volunteer, "Did you solve the crime?"

His answer: "Yeah, buddy, we actually committed this crime so we know who did it." CASE CLOSED.

Yep, that's a swimming pool full of cornstarch-based quicksand goo. And yes, that's a couple of turn tables set up there to the left. We had to catch a flight before the DJ started spinning, but I think you can imagine what happened.

The Museum of Mathematics hosted the Math Midway, a number of math-based games and activities, including this geometrically informative square-wheeled tricycle track.

More math fun and games, courtesy of the folks at Math Midway. The "Amazing Acrobats" puzzle teaches kids about symmetry and three-dimensional geometry through the assembly of tiny, multicolored people. The kids choose the colors, snap it all together and then it's time to parade the thing through the streets. Check out this video for a full description.

So there you have it! Julie and I both will share much more of our adventures at the 2001 World Science Festival in the days and weeks ahead. You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don't forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

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About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.