The @DIYscizone was a hit at @GeekGirlCon!

Nov 03 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

science zone

Last month, we brought the DIY Science Zone to GeekGirlCon (GGC) on October 19th & 20th.  It all started on by October 18th, when GGC volunteers  and Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) staff began transforming the WSCC into a geeky paradise.  The zone space started off like this...

zone before set up

...then we got tarps down, tables and chairs up...

zone after set-up

...our supplies organized...

 zone supplies

 ...and soon we were ready to offer GGC attendees a space to do the following experiments:

  • 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.

Bright and early on the first day of GGC, the zone crew assembled for a weekend of sciency goodness!

Back: @HeyDrWilson, Dr. Marie Villabara, @scicurious, @granade, @DrRubidium, @DrMRFrancis, @r343l, @noisyastronomer, & @DNLee5. Front: @Seelix, @tereshkova2001, & @lalsox.

Back: @HeyDrWilson, Dr. Marie Villabara, @scicurious, @granade, @DrRubidium, @DrMRFrancis, @r343l, @noisyastronomer, & @DNLee5. Front: @Seelix, @tereshkova2001, & @lalsox.

 

Attendees were given an 'Exploration Tracker' to document the completion of experiments.  This tracker also doubled 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.  The first 50 experimenters completing 3 projects received a cool coffee mug thanks to Chemical & Engineering News.

coffee mugs

Over the 19th and 20th, approximately 350 people visited the zone.  Fun and science was had by all!

 

In addition to providing a space for GGC attendees to get their hands dirty with science, attendees worked side-by-side with scientists and science teachers.  They got to see that scientists look just like them and that science is open to anyone.

Zone crew is ready for GGC day #2

Zone crew is ready for GGC day #2

The buzz during the con was that the zone was "the" place to be!  My goal is to bring the zone back to GGC next year - we're already cooking up new ideas!

On behalf of the DIY Science Crew, thanks to all our donors for making the zone possible!   As of October 24, 2013 at 4:05pm BST, we've raised $5667! Our minimum goal of $5000 has been reached and we're only $333 from our ultimate goal of $6000!  It is not too late to support the DIY Science Zone!

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

money button

 

 

One response so far

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