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Randolph College Hosts Free Science Festival March 25-27

Third annual festival offers something for everyone

3/14/2011 1:26:25 PM


LYNCHBURG – Want to view the stars from Randolph College’s observatory? View The Day After Tomorrow with an environmentalist? Participate in hands on activities with robots? Walk on Non-Newtonian Fluid? Catch the action of Cub ScoutPinewood Derby race? Watch dancers and learn about the physics of ballet?

You can do it all at Randolph College’s third annual Science Festival March 25-27. The weekend offers Lynchburg its only Science Festival, and all activities and events are free and open to the public.

“We want to show people how much fun science can be,” said Peter Sheldon, a physics professor heading the event. “The event has grown over the past three years, and there is something for everyone.”

The packed weekend also features a Women in Science Panel featuring the College’s alumnae, and a reading of science-inspired poetry and prose.

Science Fest is for all ages, and is for people of all interests (not just science) and is sponsored by Randolph’s Society of Physics Students.

Science Fest also includes Science Day, an annual program geared toward younger children. Science Day has become increasingly popular since its inception in 2005. While Science Day activities on March 26 require registration, all other Science Fest activities and events do not.

Science Fest and Science Day are sponsored by AREVA, the Walmart Foundation, Frito Lay, and the Greater Lynchburg Community Trust.

For more information, please see

7th Annual Science Day

The Science Festival incorporates the 7th Annual Science Day, which requires pre- registration, and is geared to students in third through sixth grade. The event, schedule for Saturday, March 26, offers an afternoon of guided hands-on activities including music and sound, tie-dying, hands on activities in Randolph College’s organic garden, a bottle rocket building competition, and more. All participants receive a free t-shirt. Teachers can attend Science Day as well and can register to receive recertification points and access to educational resources. For more information on Science Day or to register, please see:

3nd Annual Science Festival

Randolph College’s Science Festival activities are all free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Friday, 3/25

Physics-based ballet class with Dr. Ken Laws of Dickinson College

Visitors are welcome to watch a ballet class of Randolph College dancers. This class, although “physics-based,” is a ballet class, with barre and centre, and appropriate music.

10:20 – 11:50 A.M., Dance Studio in PER

Women in Science Panel

Alumnae in the sciences come back to campus to share their experiences in various scientific careers. Moderated by Dr. Kathy Schaefer, associate professor of biology.

Refreshments will be served.

4:00 - 5:30 P.M., Martin 315, Martin Science Buildilng

Science and Dance –

A New Pas de Deux?

by Dr. Ken Laws of Dickinson College

An intriguing challenge is now evolving – to find ways that different fields of knowledge and interest can speak to each other. Seldom have science and dance spoken the same language, much less benefited each other through common sharing of ideas and analyses. Physics Professor Emeritus Kenneth Laws and Graduate Student Melanie Lott have been finding valuable ways of applying physics to dance.

7:30 – 8:30 P.M., Smith Theatre

Saturday, 3/26

Science Day for 3rd-6th graders and teachers

Participants will be led through a series of 30 minute, fun, hands-on activities. T-shirt, snack, and certificate of completion are given to all participants.

Science Day is the only event that

requires pre-registration


11:45 A.M. - 4:30 P.M., Physical Education

and Recreation (PER) Building

A Scientist Goes to the Movies: The Day After Tomorrow

Environmental Scientist Karin Warren will offer commentary to this complete screening. Free popcorn!

6:00 – 8:30 P.M., Student Center, Main Hall

View the Heavens at Winfree Observatory *

Astronomer Katrin Schenk will direct the telescope at the planets and the stars for all to see.

Refreshments will be served.

8:30 -10:00 P.M.

* Cloud-Cover Date for Winfree

Observatory: Sunday 8:00 – 9:30 P.M.

In overcast conditions, observing may not be possible. If in doubt, call ahead to the

College switchboard 434-947-8000.

Sunday, 3/27

Drop in Science Activities

1:00 – 3:00 P.M., Martin Science Building

-Robots: come and try to control a number of different robots

(Martin 320)

-Non-Newtonian Fluid: sometimes a liquid, sometimes a solid, come and

experience this large-scale demonstration for yourself! (Martin Porch, Martin Science Building)


-Wind Tunnel Testing

-More! Check the website for updates:

Cub Scouts’ Pinewood Derby

Cub scouts race their cars in competition, then tracks are open for the public to join in.

1:00-5:00 P.M., Houston Memorial Chapel

Scientific Methods: “the passion of the scientist, the precision of the


A reading of science-inspired poetry and prose by Randolph College students and Professor Laura-Gray Street. Refreshments will be served.

**Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on


7:00 – 8:00 P.M., Jack Lounge of Smith

Memorial Building

For more information, please contact Brenda Edson at (434)947-8142, ext. 2 or bedson@randolphcollege.eduor Peter Sheldon at

For a map of campus go to

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations