April 25, 2014 |
THERE'S science and technology in everything we see, touch, breathe, gulp and otherwise enjoy. That's the underlying theme of the fun-filled, not-just-for-nerds Philadelphia Science Festival, back (and to the future) today through May 3. Hitting us all where we "live," more than 100 events are planned in everyday places like parks, restaurants, bars, libraries and museums for the nine days in this fourth annual celebration, presented by Dow Chemical and led by the Franklin Institute.
April 10, 2014 |
'Dear Sophie . . . " The man who is arguably the nation's best-known climate-change scientist was writing to his granddaughter. The letter was about monarch butterflies and a bullfrog, to be followed by others sounding environmental themes. James E. Hansen - "Bopa" to Sophie - wanted to teach her "how science works, how we investigate cause and effect," he said recently. Explaining it to her - in letters he plans to turn into a book called Sophie's Planet - "will help me put the climate story in a language that a broader audience can understand.
April 6, 2014 |
GLASSBORO The fish were fighting themselves. On Friday, 23 Clearview Regional High School students sat distracted in Rowan University assistant professor Matthew Bealor's laboratory in Glassboro as participants in the university's eighth annual Science Day. They were prodding tanks of betta fish on the countertops, some rapping their nets against the glass, others pressing their noses to the sides of the tanks. After lecturing for a few minutes about the aggressive tendencies of male betta fish - which will rip one another to shreds if more than one is kept in the same tank - the professor told the visiting students they were allowed to lower their floating mirrors into the water.
March 27, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The students filed into South Philadelphia's Academy at Palumbo auditorium by the dozen Tuesday afternoon, thinking they were in trouble. Minutes later, the room went dark and balloons started streaming down from the second-floor balcony. As a video began playing on a screen in front of them, the auditorium erupted into a sea of cheers. Palumbo students learned Tuesday that they had been chosen as one of five winners of Samsung's nationwide Solve for Tomorrow contest, a competition designed to raise awareness for science, technology, engineering, and math education among public school students.
March 17, 2014 |
PHOENIXVILLE The pilot was explaining how the big Sikorsky S-76 helicopter sitting outside Phoenixville Middle School worked when someone asked why pilots wear flight suits. The chief reason is they are fire retardant, but all those pockets are good for stashing essentials, like lip gloss and nail files, pilot Stacy Sheard said. Most of her colleagues might not have given that answer, as the overwhelming majority of helicopter pilots are men. But at the Chester County Economic Development Council's 14th annual GETT (Girls Exploring Tomorrow's Technology)
March 12, 2014 |
A plan by the University of Pennsylvania to cut back on two of its branch libraries - one for engineering and the other for math, physics, and astronomy - has yielded an outcry from students and professors who say the books are critical to their studies and research. Both libraries are housed within the same campus buildings as their departments, and are heavily used by undergraduates and graduate students alike. Mathematics students, in particular, said many of the books and materials they need are not available electronically, and they must browse the library to find what they need.
March 7, 2014 |
HOW MUCH fun is in store at the Philadelphia Science Festival? Lots , suggests the just-announced kick-off event - a Drexel University-steered project to create the ultimate, Guinness World Record Rube Goldberg Machine. Uh, what's that? Think mind-boggling thingamajig made with chutes and ladders, pipes and pulleys, fog-blowing this and generator-powered that, to be spread all over the floor of the 33rd Street Armory, in University City. Happening April 25 through May 3, this fourth science fest is all about "inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers," shared Franklin Institute president and CEO Dennis Wint at yesterday's event.
March 7, 2014 |
"I can teach all of freshman chemistry in 45 minutes without leaving anything out - it's one of my great achievements," says Clark Smith. Anyone who knows Smith knows he isn't bragging - not exactly. A noted winemaker, scientist, inventor, consultant, college professor, and author of the recent book Postmodern Winemaking (University of California Press), Smith, 62, is one of the most dynamic, erudite, and outspoken people I've ever met in the wine industry, not to mention a know-it-all.
February 21, 2014 |
As much as any basketball coach in Philadelphia, David Pauley at the University of the Sciences tries to connect with the history of his game. Before his team's last home game Tuesday night, Pauley gave his seniors personal copies of a book of John Wooden quotes and anecdotes. "Ten bucks on Amazon," Pauley quipped beforehand, but he also said the little ceremony would be a private one in the locker room. That reminded Pauley that when Bill Russell's number was retired, his Boston Celtics teammates had gathered at an empty Boston Garden and watched the number being raised to the rafters.
February 7, 2014 |
Ground was broken Wednesday at the site of Philadelphia's latest high-rise rental effort - a 28-story, $110 million project at 36th and Market Streets in University City. Called 3601 Market Street and due for delivery in spring 2015, the building will be constructed on a portion of the 17-acre University City Science Center campus that is now a parking lot. The 364-unit, 443,000-square-foot, mixed-use structure is a joint project of the Science Center and Southern Land Co., of Nashville.