UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – October 11, 2021

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater
For 11 October 2021  
Hi Everyone,
On Saturday I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Biotechnology Center a group of 26 4-H youth and adult volunteers from Langlade and Lincoln counties (Tomahawk, Antigo and Merrill) for a field-trip organized and led by my Extension 4-H colleague Holly Luerssen.
I also had the honor of introducing to the visitors a special presenter:  Margaret Robinson PhD, a recent UW Chemistry alum who now works at Thermo Fisher.  She volunteered her time and expertise to share insights into her work in materials science.  I introduced her as a chemist and nanotechnologist, and she gave a splendid talk well-tuned to the range of the audience.  She welcomed questions from the 4-Hers throughout her talk, and included a brief story of her career path to becoming a chemist.     
Then during the Q&A one of the youngest 4-Hers asked:  “So, are you a scientist?”  I was bemused and just this side of nonplussed. The dawning was slow: whoa, I had introduced Dr. Robinson as a chemist and a nanotechnologist.  But Upon Further Review, I realized I had not specifically said she was a scientist.  What I thought went without saying actually needed to go with saying.  
The next time I introduce a colleague who’s a scientist of any flavor I’ll make sure to say out loud that the colleague is foremost a scientist and then I’ll speak more specifically in naming their fields of discovery.  I’ll also remember to speak some other vital messages to visitors from Wisconsin:  “It’s great to welcome you here, because as a resident of Wisconsin you are a co-owner of this wonderful place.”
I’ll also remember to say, “Because you are a taxpayer—and are not even fourth graders who pay sales tax on their candy-bar purchases also taxpayers?—you are a co-funder and therefore a co-participant in this enterprise of science as exploring the unknown and inventing the future.”
The happy paradox of outreach: it goes without saying that the important stuff is always worth saying.  
Tom Zinnen
Note: please visit https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/ for the Updater archive.
Coming Up This Week and This Month
1.  During the fall, Science Alliance meets every at 10:00 am Mondays, including today, Monday October 11.
Please note our New Location for our meetings:
Room 1120 Wisconsin Energy Institute, 1552 University Avenue
Please note our new link by Zoom:  
The draft agenda includes:
  • Welcome 
  • Updates
  • Wisconsin Science Festival Oct 21-24
  • Video Presentation by Bernardo Traversari, Interim Director of Science Outreach, Edgewood College
  • Other announcements or topics
  • Next Meeting:  October 18 at 10am
As with the #Updater, the meeting notes are also archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.
2.  Experience LabEscape at the Wisconsin Science Festival!  World-renowned quantum physicist Professor Alberta Pauline Schrödenberg desperately needs your help — the fate and security of the entire world (and more importantly, her funding!) hang in the balance. You’ll have to search her lab, solve mind-blowing puzzles to reveal clues, and hopefully find a way to complete your mission! More details on this free event can be found here, or you can sign up for LabEscape experience now!


Mallory Conlon
Quantum Science Outreach Program Coordinator
UW-Madison Department of Physics
3.  Are you looking for a way to use your interest in and knowledge of science to make a positive impact in the Madison community?

If so, this is the opportunity for you!

The ROSE STEM Fellows Program is coordinated by Edgewood College and involves several schools and community centers in Madison.  I have volunteered as a Science Advocate with the program for the past 4 years.  I work with one community center and collaborate with them to empower their staff as well as parents to become science leaders.  My role is helping them to feel comfortable with science topics and to connect them with science resources.  This past year, we focused on COVID, viruses and vaccines and helped families to understand the science so that they could make informed decisions.  I would be glad to communicate with anyone interested to provide more details about the program.  Please see attached pdf.  Science Advocate Pos Desc (1)

Dolly Ledin
4.  Opportunities to Share Your Science with Necedah’s “Cardinal After School” by Zoom on Tuesdays throughout the fall.  4:00-4:30pm for grades 3-5.  4:30 to 5:00 for middle school and high school.  It’s a good way to share existing activities, as well as to invite the students to help you prototype & hone new activities you’re developing.  Contact Liz Jesse (ejesse2@wisc.edu) or Tom Zinnen (zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu) for questions or suggestions.  Sign up at the spreadsheet here.
5.  “Badger Talks” In-Person Presentations Are Back!

Badger Talks is pleased to announce the opening of the in-person speaker request system! Thank you for your virtual requests over the past several months. We will continue to also offer this opportunity for Wisconsin businesses and organizations who prefer to host speakers virtually at their upcoming event.

It is our goal to bring the University of Wisconsin – Madison to you to help spark ideas and conversations on topics important to your community. Whether you want to hear about the history of the Amish, improve communication in your workplace, or learn about the latest ground-breaking health care research, Badger Talks boasts a roster of 400 UW experts ready to give talks around Wisconsin.

The process is simple: explore our list of categories, or search for speakers/topics using keywords via the search bar; then submit an online talk request. Wisconsin businesses, clubs and organizations are welcome to request up to two talks per calendar year. Please contact us if you would like assistance with identifying a speaker who matches your organization’s interests.

Services are provided at little to no cost for organizations and businesses in Wisconsin in support of The Wisconsin Idea and as part of the UW Connects program housed in the Office of State Relations.

Questions?  Feel free to connect with us at badgertalks@uwmad.wisc.edu

6.  Programming Events coming this week and soon:
  • UW Now October 12, 7pm CT – Understanding the Labor Shortage featuring Rimantas Buinevicius, Patina Solutions; Laura Dresser, School of Social Work; Kim Ruhl, Economics.
  • Dane County 4-H Halloween Science Fright-Night, Thursday October 21, 7:00pm-8:30pm at UW Space Place & Wisconsin Science Museum, 2300 S. Park Street, Madison WI.  Should we be Leerie of the Eerie? Or Wary of the Scary? Let’s find out together…register today for some fall STEM fun!
  • Wisconsin Science Festival October 21-24 statewide.  Explore 170+ virtual and in-person events at the Wisconsin Science Festival.  From “magic” mushrooms to a celebration of the stars, the 2021 Wisconsin Science Festival is back in full swing October 21-24. This year’s festival will feature more than 170 events in over 30 counties throughout Wisconsin.  Activities include a variety of in-person and virtual activities including hands-on science experiments, Q&As with scientists, demonstrations, performances, readings and more. Join us and let’s get curious about science! See https://www.wisconsinsciencefest.org 

7.  Upcoming Lineup for Wednesday Nite @ The Lab online by zoom starting at 7pm Central.  WN@TL runs every Wednesday night, 50 times a year.  

We have resumed live presentations in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center.  

You can also tune in by zoom.  Register at go.wisc.edu/240r59   or watch the web stream at biotech.wisc.edu/webcams 

See the Schedule in pdf format (attached) and read the descriptions at https://science.wisc.edu/wednesday-nite-at-the-lab.  Word of mouth is golden:  please share the pdf with your friends and colleagues!

8.  Events from the Wisconsin Energy Institute
For Educators:
KidWind Educator Workshops
The Wisconsin Energy Institute and Wisconsin’s K-12 Energy Education Program are excited to bring the KidWind Educator Workshop to formal and non-formal educators in communities
across Wisconsin. Join us at one of the scheduled workshops and learn how to
explore the power of wind and solar with your students! You’ll take home a kit of ready-to-use materials and curriculum.
Register here:
Thursday, October 21st, 8 am – 11 am, Pablo Center at the Confluence, Eau Claire, WI

KidWind Coaches’ Happy Hours
Preparing for the 2022 KidWind Challenge or looking to learn more? Join us for a happy hour to chat with other coaches and share ideas. KidWind advisors and organizers will be on hand to answer your questions – from engineering and design tips and tricks, to FAQ about the registration process and what to expect on Challenge Day. Come for the whole hour or just a portion and BYO beverage of choice.

November 18, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00 pm Central.  REGISTER HERE
January 13, 2022, 4:00 – 5:00 pm Central. 

Climate Action Simulation Game for Educators
November 4th, 4:00 – 5:30 pm Central
As global leaders gather in Glasgow to reinvigorate their climate pledges during the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, you too can get a taste of the policy and diplomacy decisions involved in limiting global warming to no more than 1.5° C. Join us on November 4th for a highly interactive, role-playing game. You will negotiate a climate deal to address one of the greatest human and environmental challenges of this century, and you’ll walk away with the resources to bring this experience back to your own classroom.

For more information:

Allison Bender
Outreach Coordinator
Wisconsin Energy Institute | Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
1552 University Ave, Madison WI, Room 2160
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Pronouns: she, her, hers

9.  UW Arboretum Fall Events, provided by Susan Day
Virtual lecture series: 
Exploring the Future of Ecosystem Restoration
Tuesdays, October 12, 19, and 26, 7–8:30 p.m.
For the 2021 fall lecture series, we explore the global movement to restore ecosystems. We will learn about international and local efforts and how environmental health and social justice intersect with restoration projects and community well-being.
• October 12, Building an Ecosystem of Equity: Advancing Climate Justice to Protect People and Create a Prosperous Planet – Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, founder of Empowering a Green Environment and Economy, LLC
• October 19, Lindsay Heights: An Urban Restoration Story – Francesca Dawson, community advocate and mentor
• October 26, Re-Indigenizing the UW–Madison Campus – Daniel Cornelius, outreach specialist and deputy director, Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, UW–Madison Law School
Virtual and in-person classes:
Bluebirds (virtual)
Thursday, October 14, 9–11 a.m.
Owls (virtual)
Thursday, October 21, 9–11 a.m.
Mounds of the Arboretum (in-person)
Saturday, October 30, 1–3 p.m.
Poetry from the Anthropocene (in-person)
Thursday, November 4 and 11, 1–2:30 p.m.
History of the Arboretum’s Lost City (in-person)
Saturday, November 13, 1–3 p.m.
Ecopoetry – Following W.S. Merwin (in-person)
Wednesdays, December 1 and 8, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Information, registration, and more classes: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/learn/adult-education/classes/
Saturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walks
Saturday restoration work parties, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/get-involved/volunteer/work-parties/
See the full list of Sunday walks (nature hikes, family walks, and garden strolls), plus monthly night walks, on the Arboretum events calendar:https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/
10.  Come and Observe the Cosmos with Edgewood’s Astronomy Outreach Team at Ernest Hüpeden’s Painted Forest in Valton, WI. We will have guest speakers, activities for kids, and observe the night sky through the 20” Dobsonian Telescope. (Observing will be weather permitting.) To keep up to date with any changes due to weather conditions, and get reminders for the star parties, visit and like our Facebook Page @edgewoodastro

Final Star Party Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021.  Talks start @ 7PM, come earlier for family activities

Note that you should turn left at the Painted Forest building (looks like a little white church) and proceed up the hill. The telescope will be on the right at the top of the hill.

Edgewood College follows State of Wisconsin current recommendations regarding masking and social distancing in response to COVID-19.

11.  Schedule of Events for Madison FUN Partners
12.  STEM Week at Farm Wisconsin December 28-30, 2021 
We invite you to participate in our annual event: STEM Week at Farm Wisconsin, this December 28-30, 2021.


STEM Week at Farm Wisconsin is designed to engage visitors of all ages with hands-on activities in the areas of agriculture science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This year’s event will run for three days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – while students are on winter break.


At this time, we are seeking businesses, organizations, community groups, and individuals to coordinate an interactive station highlighting STEM in agriculture. Stations may include a demonstration, experiment, craft or activity – the more hands-on, the better!


Potential station ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Using Virtual Reality goggles to explore an agriculture industry
  • Dissecting a fruit, vegetable, or animal organ
  • Demonstrating how to make sausage, jam/jelly, or the perfect loaf of bread
  • Using a water testing kit to analyze water samples
  • Showcasing how a goat is milked
  • Fixing a gear on a piece of agriculture equipment


Participants will be expected to staff their station for the whole day (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and may plan to attend one, two, or all three days.


Please let me know if you would be interested in participating in our event and/or if you would like to brainstorm possible ideas for a station. Feel free to also spread the word to others you think may be interested in joining us this winter. See attached PDF with event details to this email for easy distribution. Call for STEM Week Participation
Thank you,


Abigail Martin | Program Manager
p: 920-726-6009           a: 7001 Gass Lake Road | Manitowoc, WI 54220