In today’s episode of “Things I wish I had money and time for,” I present to you the Cambridge Science Fest, which started yesterday and runs until the 26th. Since 2007, the festival has aimed to introduce kids and adults alike to the wide array of interesting things going on in the world of STEM.
Of all the places to have such an expansive festival, Boston is probably one of the best. With Harvard, MIT, and the Museum of Science in such close proximity, there’s certainly no shortage of experts to talk to; you may recall that one of my sources for my last article presented on the stereotypes of science and scientists in the media today at the MIT Museum. Other Boston staples have gotten involved as well, such as the New England School of Photography in a demo on high-voltage analog photography and the Red Sox in a demo on the science of baseball (complete with a ticket to the Sox/Orioles game to see it in action).
I know I’m biased, but this is a wonderful idea because:
- Like I said, they utilize the huge amount of STEM resources in the area. I like to think I did a good job explaining science to kids when I worked at the Sciencenter, but there’s still a difference between a presentation from someone interested in science and a presentation from someone who works with it on a regular basis.
- On that note, the wide variety of resources brings different perspectives and approaches to the table, which can then serve a wider audience. The Museum of Science is probably going to be more attractive to little kids than, say, a presentation at Harvard.
- They make it engaging. I can write all the stories I want about really cool things, but I know that working with people hands-on is the way to make it stick, especially with tough concepts that they may not have the vocab for.
I’m not sure something like this would be doable in Ithaca mostly because of a scaling issue, but the Discovery Trail is certainly a good start because it brings a bunch of local museums together in a similar fashion.