UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – August 3, 2020

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

August 3-10, 2020

Hi Everyone,

We slide into August as the rate of change in daylight speeds up.  The days, though long, grow shorter and shorter.

A lot of other things will change fast in the next four weeks, a month that is usually known for family vacations and regular preparations for starting school.

As the agenda for our online meeting this morning at 10:00am underscores, there’s scant routine to August 2020.

We’ll be making plans in multiple versions, learning on the fly, putting some stuff on hiatus while ginning up other new brew.  We are not sure which of the stuff we try will work, so our scientific savvy in trouble-shooting & failure analysis emboldens our inventions.

This spring and summer, when we have heard much about the vital importance of maintaining the research enterprise and of bringing UW students back to campus, it’s a good time to recall a speech given in a winter long ago.  In February 1905 at the Red Gym, UW President Charles Van Hise gave the speech that ended with his famous aspiration:  “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every family of the state.”  He opened that same speech by noting that in welcoming the Legislature to campus he was welcoming “the representatives of its owners.”

As a public land-grant research & extension university, this summer is a good time to remember those commitments made to the outreach mission—to what became known as The Wisconsin Idea—many winters ago:  that everyone in Wisconsin is a co-owner of the university, and that our finest aspiration is to ensure all Wisconsin residents can reach and get ahold of its beneficent influences.

We in the outreach mission have the happy duty of ensuring that all the people of Wisconsin, regardless of their age or where they live, can connect to and engage with the people, places and programs of their land-grant university.  And that includes even the elementary school student who, by dint of paying the sales tax on their candy or computer games, is also a co-funder of what Van Hise called “our beloved institution.”


Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center; and Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H

Notable This Week:

Science Alliance Meeting
1.  Science Alliance meets by webinar at 10:00 am Monday August 3 online.  Email zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu or ejesse2@wisc.edu to receive the link. The draft agenda for August 3 includes

  • Welcome
  • Update on science outreach programs
  • Updates on re-opening of UW-Madison, of peer universities, and of Wisconsin K12 schools.
  • Discussion of UW-Madison policy this fall on face-to-face programming and videoconferencing programming with youth, including a presentation to the Community Partnership Organization and other similar networks.
  • Spring 2021 Committee and subcommittees on re-opening campus to youth programing
  • Developing a Template for video visits
  • The possibility of developing hands-on science Kits through bulk purchases, and producing a Handbook to accompany each kit
  • Constellation of outdoor programming venues:   Ideas for making outdoor science venues of the UW Campus a constellation of destinations for exploration.  As long as our indoor venues are closed to the public, the university’s outdoor venues may provide a welcoming way we can engage in person with visitors while maintaining coronavirus precautions.
  • Henry Mall as Covid Testing Alley:  https://news.wisc.edu/preparations-to-begin-july-30-on-henry-mall-for-covid-19-testing-site/
  • Other announcements or topics


2.  Please add your upcoming online programs or resources with learners of any ages to the list at http://science.wisc.edu and be sure to include program events in the calendar at http://today.wisc.edu and tag them with *Science* and any other appropriate tag.

3.  Programming Events this week

Strang/ULGM Online STEAM Camp 2020, Aug 3-6

Badger Talks Live:  Wednesday, August 5 at Noon, Marianne Fairbanks, Associate Professor, Design Studies Department, “Learn to Weave at Home”, https://www.facebook.com/events/918977781933710/

4-H Kitchen Science Savvy 1:00-1:30pm with Tom Zinnen  & Liz Jesse.  Featuring the theme of “I don’t know; let’s find out!”  Every week we pursue a puzzle posed by a 4-H member.  This week’s “Fans Choice” is “Besides Baking Soda & Vinegar, Do Other Kitchen Ingredients Trigger a Big Fizz When Combined?”  We’ll be using ice cube trays and muffin tins as the equivalent of test-tube arrays for testing lots of possibilities (a little combinatorial chemistry in the kitchen).
Register in advance for this meeting:  https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErdemgrDwiHdGAwKcYloULEPpTJqve_g-P

Virtual Saturday Science Workshop with UW Space Place.  August 8 at 10:00am. Check at http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/#satworkshops


Five Powerful Routes to Promote Your Events:  The Updater newsletter (750 subscribers), the Science.wisc.edu portal, the @sciencewiscedu Twitter feed (3.2K followers), the @UWMadisonScienceOutreach Facebook page, and the today.wisc.edu calendar.

4.  Add your news, requests and programming announcements to the Updater by emailing them to zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu or ejesse2@wisc.edu

5. Check out www.science.wisc.edu for more science activities! We’re delighted to help you promote your upcoming science outreach events.  Send a note to Liz Jesse at ejesse2@wisc.edu.

Or post your events to the @sciencewiscedu Twitter feed and to the @UWMadisonScienceOutreach Facebook page.


6. To subscribe to the Updater, send an email to allianceall+subscribe@g-groups.wisc.edu. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to allianceall+unsubscribe@g-groups.wisc.edu.