Science is COOL! The Philadelphia Science Festival {Giveaway} – Closed


So, before I was a mom, I was a scientist (kind-of). I graduated from The University of New Hampshire with a degree in Molecular and Cell Developmental Biology working in a lab for the most awesome professor of Plant Biology that you could ever have. He taught a course that he called Cell Hell. I will always remember that class and everything I learned in it because it was both hard as can be and wonderfully taught at the same time. Anyway, after college, I worked as a research assistant at Fox Chase performing mutation detection in BRCA 1 and 2 (genes most commonly known for their role in breast and ovarian cancer). Needless to say, I think science is REALLY cool.

I am not sure whether it is because their mom has this background or just because they are kids, but my children are really interested in the how’s and why’s of things as well. Why does a plant have roots? How does a volcano erupt? How do those shots that I get from the doctor work? The reason doesn’t matter, I am just glad to see them being inquisitive and I try as hard as I can to nurture that.

Last summer I started a “Science Camp” for them and some of their friends. {Read: I am too


cheap to send them to science camp} It was just two days last summer, we visited a museum one day and the second day we did a fun science experiment outside. This year I think we will do it a bit longer…it was A BLAST!

I have a ton of great ideas for some experiments we will do this summer!

Last month, I headed to the Franklin Institute for a preview of the upcoming Philadelphia Science Festival. Talk about interesting, I think I may have added about 10 different day trips that I would like to take the kids on. The number of museums, libraries, places of interest in Philadelphia that I had never heard of before (and I grew up around here) grew exponentially. During the preview, there was just a small sampling of what will be available at the Science Festival which will run from April 18th-28th  all around the city with a load of activities every day. You can see the calendar here.

These are a few of the presentations that I thought were pretty awesome. Actually, I thought they were all awesome, so here are just a handful:

kitchen Liquid Nitrogen at the “Can Chemistry Be Delicious” table If only it were easy to get, I would absolutely include liquid nitrogen in the list of camp activities, but for now I will stick to letting the kiddos play with it elsewhere. There was a table set up called “Dragon Breath” that kids would go crazy over. You froze a marshmallow or graham cracker in liquid nitrogen, then placed it in your mouth and exhaled for an instant smoky breath! Later, this table, sponsored by the Franklin Institute made ice cream using liquid nitrogen for us to enjoy.

Archaeology and Uncovering Mummies –I gotta say, mummies are pretty cool. On the top of places that my kids want to visit is Egypt. They are pretty into it. We go to the Reading Public Museum a lot and there is an exhibit there about Ancient Egypt with a mummy, Nefrina. I found out that this exhibit is on loan from the Penn Museum. The Penn Museum is doing some pretty cool things for the Science Festival, including their new working laboratory where archaeologists are doing their work behind a large pane of glass for museum-goers to watch. Pretty cool.  You can catch The Science of Conservation and Preservation at the Penn Museum on 4/24 at 5 p.m.

forensics Forensics – Another really cool thing that I was super interested in was the Forensic education table. This was a career that I toyed with for a long time. I finally decided that since I get scared as soon as the sun goes down if there is no one else in the house with me that it probably wasn’t a good fit. But, cool none the less! I got to dust fingerprints and see {fake} blood splatter. Probably geared toward the bigger kids,learning how blood splattering can inform a crime scene will surely be a don’t want to miss event!  


Cacao beans and Revealing their Genetic Code – Have you ever seen a real cacao plant? How about tasted a totally pure cacao bean that you have sucked the pulp off of to get to the actual bean? I hadn’t either, until I experienced the Revealing the Genetic Code exhibit. It was really interesting to hear about how important sequencing the genetic code of this plant is. Let me say, tasting an actual cacao bean (not to mention the process it takes to actually get to the bean) is pretty enlightening! You can hear more about this project by attending the Penn Genome’s Festival Event on April 23rd from 4-6pm. 

honey-collage Bees and Honey – YUM! Tasting a bunch of different kinds of honey was really delicious and interesting at the same time. The PA Beekeeper’s Guild will be showcasing an event that will educate you all about these intense insects and describing how and why their nectars are all different. This event, Sweet and Savory Hives and Honey will take place at The Continental Restaurant on April 22nd from 6-8p.m. ($)

These are just five of over one hundred activities that the Philadelphia Science Festival will include. The best part? Most are free. This is a wonderful way for you to submerse your children (or yourself) into a world of science. The activities are located all over the city. There are ones geared toward adults like All Things Fermented: The Science of Beer and Cheese and many geared toward children like Discovery Day: Our Littlest Scientists at The Please Touch Museum. Whatever your age, this Festival is an event not to be missed.

Saturday April 20th, there will be a huge Science Carnival where the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be opened up to table after table practicing experiments and enlightening children and adults from all over! This event is free and begins at 11:00 a.m. Just after this, why not mosey on in to the Great Gigs Carnival Edition in the Franklin Theater at the Franklin Institute for a presentation on what a typical day is like for may of our scientists in the area. Hear from a chocolate scientist, a veterinarian  and more!

Enter below to win a prize package that will include tickets to Great Gigs: Carnival Series as well as a bunch of fun gear to wear and bring to your day at the Festival!

You can find out more about the Philadelphia Science Festival here. Be sure to follow them through social media and on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the next few weeks!

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About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. Wow, this looks amazing! My older son would be so into this. Sad to miss it this year.
    Heather S. recently posted…Elastic Hair Ties (On the Cheap!)My Profile

  2. Love it!!! It’s amazing to me how much FUN Science can be for kids, no reason for it to be boring at all.

  3. My kids would LOVE the forensics section. The DaVinci Center did one awhile back and they were talking about it for days afterwards.
    Nicole @ One Punky Mama recently posted…Knowledge is Power: ADHD Parenting with ADHD KidsMy Profile

    • I am so glad you mentioned the DaVinci Center…I have been meaning to take the kids, but we haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe this year:)

  4. WOW! this is fantastic. My boys love Science. Recently we did some easy science experiments at home which were a huge hit. Thanks for all the great ideas.
    Trina Peruski O’Boyle recently posted…On the Go Foods for BabiesMy Profile

  5. Kids of all ages love science!
    Janeane Davis recently posted…A to Z Challenge J is for Juggle: Learn to Juggle When Dealing with EmployeesMy Profile

  6. I’m hesitant to take my little ones, 6 and under. Do you think they’ll be able o get it? Or are the exhibits for older kids? I like the ones about bees and honey. BTW, we’ll totally come to your science camp!
    Darla recently posted…Please Buy Me A DrinkMy Profile

  7. I am excited about the carnival and the Quizzo! A whole Quizzo night, just for science,

  8. I’m looking forward to the history and culture of taxidermy! The carnival’s going to be really fun as well!

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