UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater: August 15, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

For 15 August 2022

Hi Everyone,

This morning’s serendipities included this tweet featuring the work of Diana Hess, Dean of the School of Education.  The story mentions how Dean Hess started her career in education in 1979 as a high school social studies teacher in Downers Grove, Illinois.

As the son of a high-school history teacher, I grew up knowing social studies teachers were never too far from a frying pan.  When I made it to high school I learned in my biology class that at least since 1925 and John Scopes, science teachers in the US could get their butt in a wringer, or worser, find their corpus in a courtroom dock.

What can be true for classroom teachers in schools and universities can also be true for outreach and extension folks.  We often work in controversial subjects. And subjects that once were not in dispute are now contentious.  We work with young students and adult learners to guide their explorations in their community, or to speed their connections to people, places and programs at their land-grant-university campus.  Yet as with all teachers, we also are here to help not only with information and training but also with transformation and education, to lift up and to draw out the best talents of the learners.

In science outreach, we have the opportunity—perhaps, the duty—to help people develop their own science savvy, their own ability to view and use science as a way of exploring the unknown, and to use science better in making personal choices, in forming public policies, and in making decisions in the face of uncertainty. Science is fun, and it is also fundamental.

The work of educators is sometimes akin to that of farmers.  We share infinitives such as to raise, to nurture, to cultivate.  Here in the last languid weeks of summer, the farmers and their combines are in the final stages of their seasonal harvesting, sifting and winnowing of their oats, wheat, rye and barley crops.

At this university we are buttressed by an institutional commitment to that “sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth may be found.”  The three words that precede that famous phrase are particularly poignant today, as they were in 1894:  “continual and fearless.”  That’s a commitment I’m happy to recall as we move into the fall.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

  ===Coming Up This Week and This Month

1.  During the summer, Science Alliance meets episodically. 

We will meet next on August 22 at 10am by zoom.

The Zoom link for the summer meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: https://zoom.us/my/glbrc.weieducation.vmr?pwd=L2Q0L0g0S3lEd2gyazNscjA1d2JYZz09

The draft agenda for August 22 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Wisconsin Science Festival Oct 10-16 Statewide

•  Other Business

•  Next Meeting:  Monday, September 12.

As with the #Updater, the Science Alliance meeting notes are also archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.

 2. Recurring Programming Events coming this week and soon.

•  Weekly Reminder: Please Post your science outreach events and Check for Other Science Events presented online and available to all at http://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science

•  Badger Talks Live:  –  Watch live and in archive at  https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and check the schedule at  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/  .  Next up on August 23 at 12 noon:  Welcome to the UW Multicultural Student Center with Claudia Guzman, Director, Multicultural Student Center

 •  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.      This week (August 17)  Matthew Lazzara of Space Science & Engineering will speak on   “Observing the Extremes of Antarctic Weather & Climate.”

3.  Seeking Hands on Science Presenters AND Campus locations for the Wisconsin Science Festival!

a. Indoor/Outdoor In-Person hands-on science at the Festival: 

Join us at the Discovery Expo in the Discovery Building on October 12 and October 15 from 10am-1pm and outside on State St as part of the Science On the Square event from 4-8pm on Friday, October 14. To submit your station details, here is the form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd1i9GoR9nxz2sBFwb3KzerrDDz6XYCPVHt5uZi-V7IjWwfYA/viewform

Deadline for station details is mid August.

b. Want to have groups of students/teachers come to your building/space in small groups on Wednesday October 12? 

During the Discovery Expo, we will have many students on campus with their teachers. Sometimes they are interested in seeing another part of campus after/before their time at the Discovery Expo. In the past, we have helped to coordinate options for them – like stopping at the learning lobby of the Primate Center or visiting Allen Gardens. If you would like to open your doors to groups of youth during the Festival, email Sam Mulrooney (Mulrooney, Samantha SMulrooney@warf.org) with the following information:

Location address

Size of group you have at one time

Age/grades that would be the best fit

Length of time you’d want the group on site

4.  UW-Madison’s Kemp Natural Resources Station Hosts Fungi Fest, August 26-27

Make plans to attend Fungi Fest August 26-27 at Kemp Natural Resources Station near Woodruff, Wisconsin.

Details are now available at the Kemp website: https://kemp.wisc.edu/outreach/

5.  Calumet County “Festival of Fun” on Saturday October 1 in Chilton at the Calumet County Courthouse. 

UW-Madison’s Calumet County 4-H invites 50-minute hands-on science presentations, with sessions available at 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 for 4-H Cloverbuds (grades K-2) and then also sessions at 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 for older 4-H members (grades 3-8).   

To register, please contact Carlea Liermann.

Carlea Liermann


6. Wisconsin 4-H Fall Forum Runs November 4-6 at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids.

Wisconsin 4-H’s Fall Forum is an opportunity for science outreachers to connect with youth and adult volunteers from all overs Wisconsin. 

Register to offer a Friday Interactive Learning Activity Submission  Friday Evening November 4.

7.  UW Arboretum Summer Events

Saturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walksSaturday 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/

Taking a self-guided stroll is one way to explore the Arboretum on your own terms. Some of the most popular routes include the Grady Tract Loop, the Curtis Prarie, or a five mile loop through the whole arboretum. Always remember to stay on the paths to preserve wild plants + wear appropriate shoes.  

You can also take one of the free guided nature walks offered for different skill levels and ages on a weekly basis. Most meet at the Visitor’s Center, located right in the heart of the arboretum.

  • Nature Walks — Every Sunday at 1 p.m., learn about the land, plants, and animals from local naturalists.
  • Nature Hikes — On the first and third Sundays of the month, adults are invited on these longer walks.
  • Family Nature Walks — On the second Sunday of the month, families can explore the arboretum with a guide.
  • Garden Strolls — On the fourth Sunday of the month, gently-paced strolls are offered with wheelchair-accessible routes.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Check out the calendar for monthly night walks, seasonal birding hikes + more family-friendly events.

The arboretum is open daily from 4 a.m.-10 p.m. and is always free. 

8. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

More events at https://cityofmadison.com/parks/events/bird-nature.cfm