It was Einstein who said, “I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.” In this spirit, the Franklin Institute will once again sponsor its annual nine-day, city-wide Philadelphia Science Festival from April 24 to May 2.
The festival is meant to inspire a love for scientific exploration and learning in young people by offering hands-on activities and educational experiences such as lectures, debates, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages. A children’s carnival will feature kitchen science, robot build day and Science on Tap Quizzo.
Once again, Chestnut Hill College will join leading organizations such as Comcast, GE Water and Processing Technologies, NBC 10 and PECO, and other institutions of higher education to provide hands-on science events. In coordination with the Chestnut Hill Business Association, the College will help local students take a look at the night sky, up close.
On April 24, the College’s Science Department, with coordinator Al Lamperti, Ph.D., a former adjunct professor, will sponsor an Astronomy Night for children and adults, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences, located at 8301 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.
“We hold this event to engage and excite Philadelphians in the wonders of science and inspire them to interact with science, engineering and technology events and activities on a regular basis,” Lamperti says.
Three CHC astronomers—Elliot Tammaro, assistant professor of physics, and Len Jensen and Mike Atwell, adjunct professors—will join Lamperti. The professors will bring the necessary equipment, such as telescopes and binoculars, so that individuals can gaze at the night sky.
“For me, having telescopes out for this event is just one of many such events the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers do for outreach,” Lamperti says. “Having people of any age look at the moon or a planet through an eyepiece for the very first time and listen to them and watch their facial expressions makes us do it more.”
Martha Sharkey, executive director at the Chestnut Hill Business Association, says, “The Chestnut Hill business district is thrilled to partner with Chestnut Hill College and the John Story Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences for Astronomy Night.”
The community of Chestnut Hill has always been a part of the festival through various science cafes and events, Sharkey explains. “We have been increasing our participation over the past two years to include both Astronomy Night and Discovery Day.”
Discovery Day will be held on Saturday, April 25 at Jenks. “Attendees will participate in hands-on science as they learn about the chemistry behind bread baking and how paint gets its color,” Sharkey says. “They will also find out where groceries come from and what teeth are made of, participate in an awesome exercise session that will work your muscles and your brain and take a moment to enjoy sun gazing through a special telescope.”
In addition, J.S. Jenks will host a Funfest on site, including bounce houses, games, face painting and science activities, with proceeds benefitting the school.
The Astronomy Night rain date is scheduled for May 1.
For more information about Astronomy Night, contact Sister Kathy Duffy at DuffyK@chc.edu. For more information about the Philadelphia Science Festival visit http://www.philasciencefestival.org/partners. For more information about the Chestnut Hill Business Association visit www.chestnuthillpa.com.
—Taylor Steen ’15