UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater
For 24 January 2022
Sometimes our work in outreach flows through mass media to touch in a small way a large number of people. Other times, our interactions are face-to-face with but one or two or a few.
If we’re lucky, we get to do both types of engagement. If we’re really lucky, a story sparked by a one-on-one can inspire thousands.
Last week, I ran into one of those splendid, sparkling stories on my Twitter feed.
On January 17, Rebecca Varney
(Twitter @RebeccaMVarney) at the @UCSB_OakleyLab posted this thread:
“Thinking about biological collections lately I’m reminded of the time that somehow at age 4, I got a personal tour of the
@UCBerkeley entomology collection from a kind scientist. Asked my parents how on earth THAT happened, and it turns out…
“When I was 4, I wrote a letter to the Entomology department at UC Berkeley. ‘My name is Rebecca and I have a bug collection. I read about yours and it is bigger than mine is. Can I see it? Also, I have a question. Do walking sticks have knees? Sincerely, Rebecca’
“I have no memory of doing this, but a professor wrote back! Not only did he take the time to reply, he invited me to come to UCB & see ‘a really big bug collection’. Following a lot of begging, my mom made time to drive to Berkeley, despite mild alarm at this whole situation.
“Apparently I told her that we’d exchanged letters so he didn’t count as a stranger and therefore it was safe. And we went, and I had the greatest day of my young life. I remember snippets. Him laughing because I lost my mind at the foot-long walking sticks.
“Him asking me what bug I wanted to meet alive, and being delighted when I said Luna moth, because (this was a secret) moths are better than butterflies.
“He let me hold a live scorpion. As my mom tells it, he commented that they made good pets until she shot him an absolute death glare over my head, at which point he clarified ‘but only in museums and zoos’. I also met a tarantula, a hissing cockroach, and live walking sticks.
“He explained how ‘knees’ work in insects, then said he had to go, to teach his class on bugs. And I demanded to know where you could take an ENTIRE CLASS about bugs. He explained what college was. I asked if anybody was allowed to go, and he said yes.
“Apparently, I promptly declared that I would go to college, and get a PhD, so I could work somewhere like that. He shook my hand and told me it was a pleasure to meet another biologist.
“I have no idea who this amazing person was. But on days like today when I’m working on outreach that brings animals into classrooms, now with a doctorate in biology, I wish I could tell him thank you. Collections, when shared, are warehouses of wonder.”
Often we have but a small divot of time to interact with a young visitor.
Sometimes—not always, but sometimes— it becomes a pivotal experience for the visitor.
And sometimes, as in the case of Dr. Varney, the young visitor grows up to become the welcoming scientist, and the splendid chain of inspiration continues on from generation to generation.
1. During the spring semester, Science Alliance meets at 10:00 am Mondays, including today, Monday January 24. Please Note: We will be meeting by Zoom only on January 24 and for the coming few weeks. We will not be meeting in person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute for the time being.
=== Coming Up This Week and This Month
The Zoom link for the spring meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be:
Subcommittee Set-up: Please contribute your talents to your preferred Science Expeditions 2022 Planning Subcommittees. Sign up here
As with the #Updater, the meeting notes are also archived on
• Wednesday Nite @ The Lab Public Science Series
every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT by zoom (go.wisc.edu/240r59
) or in person in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI. WN@TL looks at the Road Ahead for Electric Vehicles on January 26 at 7pm with a presentation by Bruce Johnson, Solar Farmer.
*UW Science Expeditions April 8-10.
I hope you’ll join us again this year for the 20th Annual UW-Madison Science Expeditions on April 8-10. Please mark your calendars, and consider presenting an Exploration Station on your research or outreach, or hosting an Open House or Tour at your facility, or organizing a public presentation. You’ll be able to find out more in the coming weeks at science.wisc.edu/science-expeditions
If you’d like to contribute your talents as part of a Science Expeditions 2022 Planning Subcommittee, please sign up here
3. Materials Science Research Engineering Center (MSREC) Offers an NSF-funded “Research Experience for Teachers (RET)” This Summer
Dear Science Alliance Outreachers,
I am hoping you can help spread the word about the MSREC Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program that will be in-person and on the UW-Madison campus this summer.
for the 2022 RET program is at https://education.mrsec.wisc.edu/ret-experience/
Thanks, Anne Lynn __________________________ Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel, Ph.D. Director Integrated Education Group (IEG) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) University of Wisconsin-Madison 3122 Engineering Centers Building 1550 Engineering Drive Madison, WI 53706 (608) email@example.com
www.education.mrsec.wisc.edu my pronouns are: she, her, hers
4. Youth Artwork Displayed and For Sale at UW Health through January 31
UW Health in partnership with Briarpatch Youth Services is exhibiting artwork by young artists the J5/1 corridor of UW Health’s University Hospital. Works are available for sale with 100% of proceeds going to the young artists.
5. Share Your Science at the Family Science Night Wednesday March 16 at CH Bird Elementary School in Sun Prairie 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Hello UW Science Alliance,
I am a parent at Sun Prairie CH Bird Elementary School PTO group. We are organizing our annual Family Science Night on March 16 from 5:30-7pm. Researchers & outreachers, please email me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your Exploration Station geared for Elementary students and their families. Please include a title and a short description of the activity.
Also, please share this invitation with your colleagues and across your networks. We’re looking forward to welcoming many of you to Bird Elementary for an evening of sharing and exploring science!
CH Bird Elementary School PTO
6. Data Science Research Bazaar Running Online Through February
UW–Madison’s Data Science Hub is hosting its third annual Data Science Research Bazaar
, focused on the theme of Data and Communities: Sharing and Protecting Data.
This event will be held virtually throughout February.
The Research Bazaar will include lightning talks and interactive discussions on a variety of topics relating to how communities use and are impacted by data, and workshops focused on tools and resources including RStudio Connect, Jupyter Notebooks, and the Hathi Trust Digital Library. In addition, it will feature a career panel and an exhibit of art relating to science and technology.
The Data Science Research Bazaar is an inclusive, community-building event at UW–Madison for researchers, data scientists, entrepreneurs, and community members, including students. While there is no cost to attend, pre-registration is required. View the full
UW-Madison’s Data Science Research Bazaar is modeled off the international Research Bazaar, a worldwide festival that promotes digital literacy in research and aims to equip researchers with digital skills and tools to do their work more efficiently. For more information:
Patricia Pointer Multimedia Designer Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
7. Job Openings in Outreach at UW-Madison
Please share with your network and colleagues.
At Allen Centennial Garden: Allen Centennial Garden is looking for a new permanent staff member who will coordinate educational, outreach, and profit-generating programs at the Garden and assist with their development. These will include new and existing educational events for students and the broader campus community, garden tours, festivals, private events, weddings, and more. Applications are being accepted through the end of January.
8. Explore Pharmacy Careers at UW-Madison School of Pharmacy
The Doctor of Pharmacy program is hosting several events that will help attendees learn more about pharmacy careers and the renowned PharmD program at UW–Madison. Many of these are virtual, allowing greater access to interested students around the world. However, there’s nothing like an in-person experience. If you’d like a face-to-face conversation, we’d love to have you visit us at the School of Pharmacy.
February 9: PharmD Information Sessio
n (virtual) — Get a general overview of the UW–Madison PharmD program, including application and admissions, curriculum options, and post-graduate outcomes. REGISTER
February 17: Mock Interview Session
(virtual) — Intended for students interested in applying to our PharmD program this cycle or next, these sessions give applicants the opportunity to prepare for their interview with current PharmD students. This is thelast mock interview session of the academic year. REGISTER
March 5: Pharmacist Career Exploration Day
(in-person) — This session is in-person event is a great opportunity to hear directly from practicing pharmacists, faculty, and students about the wide variety of exciting pharmacy career paths. REGISTER
If you have any questions about the above events please contact Lindsey DeCarlo, email@example.com
Lindsey DeCarlo Pronouns: she, her, hers PharmD Recruitment and Event Coordinator | Student & Academic Affairs School of Pharmacy | University of Wisconsin – Madison 2220 Rennebohm Hall | 777 Highland Avenue | Madison, WI 53705 P: (608) 263-4860 | F: (608) 262-3943 | www.pharmacy.wisc.edu
9. A Mid-Winter’s Day Garden Series Runs Weekly Through February with Friends of Allen Centennial Gardens
Allen Centennial Garden, in partnership with the Friends of Allen Centennial Gardens, offers an annual Saturday morning winter program series during January and February on garden-related topics for ACG Friends and volunteers as well as the general public. Last year’s programs were virtual, and we will be using that format again in early 2022. There is a $10/session fee, but they are free for the Friends and volunteers. To register go to allencentenialgarden.wisc.edu. Jane Cramer Friends of Allen Centennial Gardens10. UniverCity Alliance (UCA) is partnering with the American Geophysical Union through its “Thriving Earth Exchange” program to launch in April 2022 the next cohort of community science projects in Wisconsin.
#1: Help us find projects in Wisconsin communities. We need local or regional governments, tribal governments, community-based organizations, grassroots organizations and other advocacy or non-profit groups to let us know what geotechnical projects keep them up at night. We will share these projects with local and national experts who can help formulate solutions with your community. Encourage your community to apply by March 1 to join the April 2022 community science project cohort!
#2: Help us find people who can manage the projects: We need volunteer Community Science Fellows to be the glue that holds the project team together by serving as project managers, facilitators and connectors. They represent cohort of people from all backgrounds and career stages interested in growing their practice of community science while guiding project from idea to impact. Apply by March 1 to be a Community Science Fellow!
In addition to projects from Wisconsin communities, we’re looking for people who may be interested in volunteering to manage the projects. These Community Science Fellows don’t necessarily have to have a background in science and could be folks with great project management, facilitator and connector skills. here
, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. If you’re able to share this with anyone who might be interested, that would be great! Thanks! Best,
There’s more information on our website
It’s official! The Wonders of Physics shows will be performed during Science Expeditions this year. The risks are just too high right now (when we need to be rehearsing) to be able to put on the show in February. We will be sending out an email to our list of 6500+ subscribers this week announcing the change as well as highlighting Science Expeditions taking place on the same weekend. Another email will be sent to the same list in late February or early March alerting people that tickets sales are open.
We will do four shows inside Chamberlin, in room 2103, but also hope to livestream them as well. The shows will be 1pm and 4pm on 4/9 & 4/10. The Physics Fair is moving to 4/9 from 11am-4pm as well.
Haddie McLean (she/her)
Outreach Specialist-Wonders of Physics
UW-Madison Physics Department
Free tickets for the Wonders of Physics are recommended and are available after January 1st using the On-Line Ticket Form
Come to 2103 Chamberlin Hall, 1150 University Avenue, Madison, WI.
The Wonders of Physics Shows last a bit over an hour and are suitable for all ages.
The Physics Fair is an annual Department of Physics open house that includes laboratory tours, hands-on demonstrations, activities for kids and families, and informal conversations with scientists. It is presented alongside the Wonders of Physics annual show, and is held in Chamberlin Hall. No tickets or RSVP is required for the Physics Fair.
The 2022 Physics Fair is now re-scheduled from February 12 to Saturday, April 9 from 11am – 4pm in Chamberlin Hall as part of UW Science Expeditions.
12. Share Your Science with Necedah’s “Cardinal After School” by Zoom on Tuesdays throughout the coming spring semester.
Starting on Tuesday February 1 and weekly thereafter, choose a Tuesday
to share your science by zoom from 4:00-4:30pm for grades for middle school and high school; 4:30 to 5:00 for grades 3-5. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Tom Zinnen (email@example.com
) for questions or suggestions. Sign up at the spreadsheet here
13. Events from the Wisconsin Energy InstituteRegister Now for the 2022 WI KidWind Challenge!
The KidWind Challenge is a hands-on wind turbine design competition that engages middle and high school students from across Wisconsin in STEM through the lens of wind energy. Student teams bring small-scale wind turbines to the challenge, test them in a wind tunnel, meet with a panel of expert judges to present their design process, tackle instant challenge activities, and explore green careers. The 2022 WI KidWind Challenge will take place on Saturday, February 26th at the Discovery Building
at the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. Learn more and register your teams by January 14th here
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.
January 13, 2022, 4:00 – 5:00 pm Central.
REGISTER for the January 13 Happy Hour HERE
. Allison Bender Outreach CoordinatorWisconsin Energy Institute | Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center 608.890.0946 firstname.lastname@example.org
1552 University Ave, Madison WI, Room 2160University of Wisconsin–Madison
Sunday, January 30. Nature Hike. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 5. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna.
Meet at Arbor Drive parking lot, off Monroe Street. 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Sunday, February 6. Nature Hike. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 12. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie. Meet at the Visitor Center.
9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Saturday, February 12. Full Moon Night Walk. 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday, February 13. Family Nature Walk. 1 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 19. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract.
Meet at Grady Tract parking lot (SE corner, Seminole Highway &West Beltline Frontage Rd).
9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Sunday, February 20. Nature Hike. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 26. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie.
Meet at the Visitor Center. 9 a.m.–12 p.m. 15. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature
16. Cancelled: Science Olympiad Madison Regional Tournament Originally Set for Saturday February 5 at Edgewood College Is Cancelled Due to Covid
The event will not be re-scheduled.
17. Beaver Dam Arts & Peony Festival on June 4, 10am to 5pm is looking for youth activities.Location: Ovan’s Peony Farm, Beaver Dam Partners include Mill House Quilts, and New Sewing with Nancy Store. They expect about 500 people to come through. If interested in providing an Exploration Station in science or the arts, please reach out to Fran Puleo email@example.comFran Puleo Moyer Assistant Director of Outreach ProgramsUW Connects University of Wisconsin-Madisonfran.firstname.lastname@example.org | 920.296.0546 1308 W. Dayton St. Madison, WI 53715uwconnects.wisc.edu18. Teaching & Learning with Wisconsin Fast Plants!
Sunday, February 27. Garden Stroll. 1 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Happy New Year! We’re here to help support teaching & learning in schools, after schools & youth groups! Could you use help finding Open Source resources for teaching with Fast Plants?
Would you like to talk about lighting options for growing healthy Fast Plants in your classroom situation? We are here to help!
• Shared one-on-one consultation with a community college professor who is designing a new botany course for non-biology majors.
• Prepared and facilitated mini-workshops for teaching with and about models using Fast Plants, given during AP Biology Institutes.
• Shared and discussed via email with many teachers ways to interpret their Fast Plants’ growth and development.
• Offered webinars to support data management, statistical analyses and Open Source lesson plans.
• Worked with teachers to convert classroom Fast Plants investigations to remote-learning investigations.
So remember, if you:
• would like a second opinion about how your Fast Plants are growing,
• need assistance finding resources (e.g. lesson plans, handouts, research papers, etc.) or
• want help preparing materials for growing healthy Fast Plants,
• would like feedback about when to harvest seed for successful selection investigations,
• have any question about Fast Plants:
just send us an email. Please include in your email information about your investigation, growing conditions, learning goals, and a photo of your plants (if relevant).
We hope to hear from you!
19. More from Madison FUN Friends of Urban Nature
Our purpose at the Wisconsin Fast Plants Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is providing outreach support to teachers and researchers who use Fast Plants as a model organism. Here are just a few examples of 2021 outreach that was part of our daily work in the Fast Plants Program: