Why I love @GeekGirlCon's #DIYscizone

Aug 27 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Because of moments like this...

Captain America (@tereshkova2001) helping folks make slime

Captain America (@tereshkova2001) helping folks make slime

...and this...

...and this...

@lousycanuck brought randomness to the zone

@lousycanuck brought randomness to the zone

...and this...

...and this...

...and this... (@Geo_Miles bringing geology to the zone!)

GeekGirlCon 2015 DIY Science - 08

...and even more moments over at our 2015 DIY Science Zone Flickr album.

The DIY Science Zone started with games - specifically, GeekGirlCon's Gaming Zone. That zone had a design-your-own game room and I thought, "What if we had a Science Zone?" That was back in 2012. The DIY Science Zone premiered at the 2013 GeekGirlCon and now we're entering our 4th year!

The DIY Science Zone is a labor of love - like the rest of GeekGirlCon, which is run by volunteers. The success of the zone depends on the awesomest con attendees in the universe*, scientists and educators that volunteer to work in the zone, all sorts of GeekGirlCon staffers (like me!), and donors.

The DIY Science Zone would not be possible without donations. Donations fund 100% of the zone's budget from coating used to protect the conference center's floor, to wall signs directed attendees to science. Our yearly goal is $6,000 and this year we've raised $1,750 so far!

source: makeagif.com

Thanks to donors, we can bring 12+ experiments and the best science educators to the zone!  This year, we're in a space 4x as large so we can go BIG for science! Want to help us make our 4th year super?! PRESS THE BUTTON! FOR SCIENCE!

money button

A donation isn't the only way to help. Spread the word about the DIY Science Zone by sharing this post on your social media platforms using #DIYscizone. Thank you!


*Bold claim, but GeekGirlCon attendees are the illest

This post was updated 27 August 2016.



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#GGC14 #DIYscizone Acts of Whimsy! Thank you, donors!

Oct 05 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

When we kicked-off fundraising for year two of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Science Zone, we also kicked-off a season of doing wacky things (AKA, 'Acts of Whimsy') to thank donors and celebrate monetary benchmarks.  Below is the collection of all the Acts of Whimsy done by zone volunteers.  Enjoy!


Top image from here

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I have to listen to Pink Floyd. You get to pick the album... FOR SCIENCE!

Sep 27 2014 Published by under Uncategorized


PF poll

I'll be listening to 'The Dark Side of the Moon' tomorrow morning while I knock-out some grading.  I might as well do two life-force draining activities at once.  I'll be live-tweeting my listening using the hastag #DSotM.


The moment I've dread has arrived. That's right, the Go Pink Floyd camp has hit the $1000 mark. It's time for me to face the music. The Pink Floyd music.  I've got to listen to an entire album and you'll be able to pick which one by voting in the poll below.  Polls will close October 3rd.

As I'll be listening via Spotify, only studio albums available (or soon to be) on this platform are listed.  I'll live-tweet my listening.  Likely with gifs and an over analysis of lyrics...

11 responses so far

In which I do acts of whimsy... FOR SCIENCE!

Aug 25 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

The DIY Science Zone is back for GeekGirlCon 2014! You know what that means!

  • There will be an fun place at GGC '14 for attendees to get their hands dirty with science!
  • This zone will be staffed by a crew of talented scientists and science educators!
  • We need to raise $6000 and will do acts of whimsy to show our gratitude! As of 9 September 2014, $3393.50 has been raised.

What acts of whimsy will I be doing? To celebrate the first $100, I wore a tiara at work. Since we crossed the $500 mark, I'll be running the CASA Donut Dash on September 14th in this Wonder Woman ensemble.

...but that's not all! Last year, I subjected myself to Nickelback to raise money for the DIY Science Zone.  This year, it's Pink Floyd.

Me too, bro

That's right, I don't like Pink Floyd.  But! I will listen to Pink Floyd - FOR SCIENCE!  For every $1000 the pro-Pink Floyd ("Go PF") camp raises, I'll listen to an entire band album.  I can be saved from listening to Pink Floyd, if the anti-Pink Floyd ("No PF") camp offers up counter donations.  It's Go PF vs. No PF!  Here's how you can make be listen to Pink Floyd or save me from it:

Go PF or No PF, the winner will be science!  No donation is too small and every dollar helps!  Thanks to all our wonderful donors. Yes, even the Go PF ones...

UPDATE!  Go PF camp has raised $595 to get me to listen to Pink Floyd.  The NO PF camp? $275.  Gotta say, last year, Nickelback fans were all about throwing money at the zone. Pink Floyd fans? Um...


gif from Buzzfeed

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I'll be listening to Nickelback. FOR SCIENCE!

Sep 14 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Fundraising for the DIY Science Zone to GeekGirlCon started the Battle Of Nickelback.  This fight as shown there are three types of donors:

  1. Anti-NB contingent (my people!)
  2. NB fans
  3. The Pro-SufferRb team - those that don't like NB, but want to see me suffer

This battle has been a tough one.  I came very close to listening to the NB albums 'Curb' and 'The State'.  Each time, the anti-NB contingent was able to save me.  Sadly, I think I am doomed to listen to NB very soon...

To date, we've raised a total of $3320.  Who is wining?!  Pro-NB and Pro-SufferRb or anti-NB?

As of September 18, 2013 at 2:15 AM BST...

NB fans &  Pro-SufferRb with $2010 raised!

Team anti-NB is trailing behind with $1310.

That difference of $700 meant I had to listen to NB's third album 'Silver Side Up' on September 16th, taking care of $500.  That means NB fans and Team Pro-SufferRb have $200 toward me listening to NB's fourth album 'The Long Road'.  Unless... unless team anti-NB donates to save me!  Click below and make a donation, noting "NO NB!". Alternatively, you can tweet me after your donation saying you're trying to save me!

Are you team pro-NB and pro-SufferRb?  Want to make sure I have to listen to lots of Nickelback? Like their fourth album 'The Long Rode'? Click below and make a "YES NB!" donation.  Alternatively, you can tweet me after your donation to wish me "Happy listening!"

Either way, science wins!

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DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon needs YOU!

Sep 12 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

science zone

Next month, we're bringing the DIY Science Zone to GeekGirlCon (GGC)!  Last year, over 4000 attendees  Washington State Convention Center to celebrate geek culture and science played a mayor role.  This year, we're launching a lab space where attendees can do experiments with the help of over a dozen scientists and science teachers from a range of disciplines.

What will the zone offer?

  • DNA extraction made easy!
  • Are you bitter? A genetic taste test.
  • Magic breath! Acid-base chemistry of the body.
  • CSI: GGC! Finding latent prints using ninhydrin.
  • Coffee ground fossils! Perfect for Seattle.
  • Neuron know-how! Build your own & learn how they work.
  • Slime-to-go!  Make your own bag of goo.
  • Making craters! Please bring your own sound effects.
  • Dancing raisins!  No choreography skills required.
  • Nature notebooks! A mix of art & nature.

DIYscizone Exploration TrackerAttendees will be given an 'Exploration Tracker' to document the completion of experiments.  This tracker doubles as a prize entry, thanks to the support of ThinkGeek!  By completing 3 projects, attendees could win a Portal 2 PotatOS Science Kit, an Edible Chemistry Kit, or a the Common Cold!

Not only will attendees get hands-on experience, they'll get to work side-by-side with scientists and science teachers.  Why is this side-by-side interaction important?

I tend to forget that most people don’t know scientists personally or ever meet them. Is it any wonder that, when asked to draw a scientist, many kids draw an older white dude with Doc Brown hair? It’s pervasive enough that characters on The Big Bang Theory were going to be in lab coats before the showrunners met actual science graduate students and realized that t-shirts and jeans were more common. One way to combat that stereotype is to let people meet actual scientists... We’ve got younger and older scientists. Most of our team is female; many are not Caucasian. I want people to realize that science is open to anyone.

~Dr. Stephen Granade, DIY Science Zone volunteer

To realize the full potential of the DIY Science zone, we need to raise $5000-6000.

As of October 24, 2013 at 4:05pm BST, we've raised $5667! Our minimum goal of $5000 has been reached!  We're only $333 from our ultimate goal of $6000!  Think  a donation of$5 is too little?  Think again!  Every donation counts.  If 67 of you donated $5 or 34 of you donated $10, our ultimate goal of $6000 would be reached!

 Click on the button below to make a donation. Thank you!

money button



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UPDATE: The Battle of Nickelback - FOR SCIENCE!

Sep 01 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

A motley crew (not the Mötley Crüe) have asked for your help to bring a DIY Science Zone to GeekGirlCon.  In exchange for your donations, this motley crew are offering to perform acts of whimsy.  One of these acts of whimsy is actually controversial - mainly because it might cause the doer (that's me!) serious harm.

Yes, I am talking about my promise to listen to a different Nickelback album for each $500 raised.  Concerned for my safety, @docfreeride donated to the zone but against any Nickelback exposure.  Thus, the Battle of Nickelback was born!  Is it simply Nickelback (NB) fans vs. the anti-NB contingent? NO! A third group has emerged! A group that doesn't like NB, but simply wants to see me suffer.  I call this team 'Pro-SufferRb'....

It's been a fierce battle so far.  I came very close to listening to NB's first album 'Curb', but the anti-NB saved me.   'The State', NB's second album, is all cued up... how close am I to a NB session?

To date, we've raised a total of $2065.  Who is wining?!  Pro-NB and Pro-SufferRb or anti-NB?

As of September 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM BST...

Anti-Nickelback fans, with $1050 raised!

Teams pro-NB and pro-SufferRb are trailing behind with $1015.

That means the anti-NB peeps have saved me from 'The State'.

What's even MOAR awesome?! People are donating $5, $10, $20, and more to help us bring science to GeekGirlCon!  With nearly $2000 raised, our goal of $5000 seems within reach!

Now, team anti-NB, you know what you need to do!  Once pro-NB and pro-SufferRb teams hear we're kicking their a**, they may rally... Click below and make a donation, noting "NO NB".

Dear teams pro-NB and pro-SufferRb...



Channel that anger to your index finger, click below, and make a "YES NB!" donation...

Either way, science wins!


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Help fund the DIY Science Zone at @GeekGirlCon!

Aug 28 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

science zone

GeekGirlCon (GGC) gave the DIY Science Zone the thumbs-up! We're bringing hands-on, do-it-yourself science to Seattle this October!

We will run the zone all day Saturday, October 19th (day #1 of GGC) and half the day on Sunday, October 20th (day #2).  Who is "we"?  To name but a few...

The DIY Science Zone will be in a high-traffic area of GGC, which is at the Washington State Convention Center.  We've picked activities well-suited for (1) a variety of ages, (2) are affordable when scaled up to large audiences, (3) can be done mostly with household ingredients, and (4) with low messiness factors.   What will the zone offer?

  • DNA extraction made easy!
  • Are you bitter? A genetic taste test.
  • Magic breath! Acid-base chemistry of the body.
  • CSI: GGC! Finding latent prints using ninhydrin.
  • Coffee ground fossils! Perfect for Seattle.
  • Neuron know-how! Build your own & learn how they work.
  • Slime-to-go!  Make your own bag of goo.
  • Making craters! Please bring your own sound effects.
  • Dancing raisins!  No choreography skills required.
  • Nature notebooks! A mix of art & nature.

Some of these projects will be scheduled, while others are drop-in activities.  All scheduled activities will occur several times during the operation of the zone, giving GGC attendees plenty of opportunities to experiment in the zone!

What do we need from you?

What will your cash be spent on?

  1. Zone supplies (activity ingredients, tarps, cleaning supplies, etc.)
  2. Zone advertising (banners, flyers, posters, etc.) - being in a high traffic area helps, but we'll still need to advertise around the con!
  3. Two hotel rooms for zone workers within a short walking distance of the con
  4. Airfare assistance to zone workers needed financial help

How much are we looking to raise?  $5000-$6000.  Items #4 and #5 are the biggest expenses and here's why that money is worth it...

Each and every zone worker requesting travel assistance is passionate and committed to science outreach, experienced running activities of this magnitude for diverse age groups, and excited to work nearly non-stop Friday (GGC prep and set-up), Saturday, and Sunday of GGC.  We want to infect the thousands of GGC attendees (small children, teens, and adults) with our love of science.  We want to show attendees that science is everywhere - their backyard, their kitchen, themselves!

What are we willing to do to get your money?  Acts of whimsy for each fundraising milestone reached!

  • For every $100 raised, @DrMRFrancis will wear his Cthulhu hat in public.  Photographs will be provided!  UNLOCKED!
  • If the Royal Society of Chemistry donates $100, I'll wear a tiara and welcome my students with the royal wave to one class session.
  • @Chemjobber is known for his ceramic duck, which is his Twitter avatar. If $300 is raised, he will change his duck's hat (and outfit?) by popular demand, no matter how silly. If we reach $750, he will answer with "Quack!" at GGC whenever someone says, "Hey, CJ!"
  • My feelings about Nickelback are well-known.

no nickelbackFor every $500 raised, I will listen to a different Nickelback album.  Surprisingly, there appear to be 7 Nickelback albums.  Just how will I prove I've listened to each album? Google Hangouts On Air! @DNLee5  will join me as she loves Nickelback.  UPDATE: @docfreeride is strongly advises against Nickelback consumption and will donate to have me NOT listen to Nickelback.  Mark your donation "NO NB" and you might be able to save me!  It'll take "NO NB"  funds equal $500 to save me from each album. [UNLOCKED! I'll be listening to a Nickelback album at 7pm CST on 9/16/13]

  • If Nature Publishing Group (NPG) donates $500, we'll stage a dramatic reading of a paper in Nature Methods. WITH PROPS.
  • If we reach $1000, we will bust out in song! We'll do a group sing-a-long video at GeekGirlCon and upload the video to YouTube. NO, we will not be doing a Nickelback cover.
  • What happens when you Mad Libs somebody's thesis abstract?!  Hi-Lar-Ity! We'll take to Google Hangouts On Air, where @NoisyAstromer will lead us in this game of nouns, verbs, and adverbs.  We'll make this happen for every $1000 we raise - using our own abstracts!  [2 Thesis-Libs UNLOCKED!]
  • Will we sell-out to corporations? You know it! If you're a business and you donate $1000, we'll drop product placements in all Google Hangouts On Airs and videos. Say you're the American Chemical Society... I will personally wear your t-shirt, while drinking from your coffee mug, all while using your pen to play cowbell in our music videos.  The more money you donate, the more product placement!  NOTE: we're scientists, so no quack products will be featured and we're got to keep it clean, so no NSFW.
  • Not a corporation, but able to donate a lump sum of $500 or more?  @Lalsox will knit you a set of personalized zombie dolls (see below)!  Limited to five sets.

zombie dolls

  • When we've raised $1500, @Scicurious will write a science version of a pop song and @DrMRFrancis will perform it!  I'll accompany with cowbell!
  • Wouldn't you want to see @Seelix's cat dressed-up as each of The Avengers?  When we hit $2000, The Catavengers will happen!
  • For $2500, @DNLee5 will do a terrible re-enactment of @SamuelLJackson's demise in Deep Blue Sea with the help of  me and @Lalsox at GGC.  We're confident our shark will actually look better than the one in the movie... [UNLOCKED! @DNLee5 is learning her lines & we'll film this at GGC next month!]
  • Sock puppets performing a (much shorter!) re-enactment of Prometheus, corrected for science and common sense? YES!  The budget of Prometheus was about ~$130 million, but @Sargent will stage Sockmetheus if we raise a mere $3000! [UNLOCKED! Sockmetheus is in progress! Stay tuned!]
  • If we reach $4000, we'll do a 5 minute (or less!) re-enactment of a movie at GGC and upload it to YouTube.  We'll use a reader poll to select the movie! I suspect we'll be horribly acting our way through some Nicholas Sparks adaptation...
  • When we've raised $5000, we'll dance a jig. Seriously, a jig.  And yes, we'll be dancing it badly. [Jig UNLOCKED!]
  • We'll faint if we raise $6000. Probably onto fainting couches, of course.  A few of us won't just faint, we'll do a Leyomi Drop.

What if we have money left over?  That money will be donated to science projects listed at DonorsChoose.org.  Every dollar spent will be detailed on this blog, complete with receipts, screen captures, etc.

Ready to help make the DIY Science Zone at GGC happen?!

money button

7 responses so far