UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – December 12, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

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Monday 12 December 2022

Hi Everyone,

I think of the winter solstice as the shortest day of the year, a day to celebrate our sinusoidal bottoming out, the date to mark when the sun starts to linger longer in the late afternoon.

But, no.

As Dipesh Navsaria pointed out last week, we don’t have to wait til December 21 for brighter hours at the end of the workday.  Those are ours already:  counterintuitively to me, the earliest sunset happened this past Friday.  At least, for those of us living at Madison’s latitude.  Today, the sun sets here at 4:24pm;  on the solstice, it’ll set two minutes later, at 4:26, when we get our annual minimum of 8 hours 59 minutes from sunrise to sunset. Hallelujah.

In the great Double-Entry Accounting in the Sky, the math also means that for a few days (in our case, from December 9 until about January 4) the sun rises later every morning, topping out at 7:29am at Madison during the first week of January.

There are some things I’ve never really figured out, never gotten into the marrow of my bones:  how water freezing into ice actually releases heat, why the Moon in Australia or South America looks so different from here at home, when to use whom and not who.

This Bockian Sunrise, Sunset puzzlement nudges us to remember how hard it can be not only to learn something new, but also to unlearn something old, something familiar and comfortable.  That struggle, the struggle to unlearn, is one we often have in common with the people we work with in science outreach.  In some ways, whether we are at dawn or at dusk, we are as much Unlearners as we are Learners.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

Reminder: Please Post your science outreach events at http://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science

==Coming Up This Week and This Coming Month

1.  The UW-Madison Science Alliance meets on most Mondays at 10:00 am by Zoom. Our next meeting is Monday, December 12.

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

The draft agenda for December 12 at 10 am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Science Immersion Day, Tuesday Feb 14, with 104 7th/8th grade students from Southern Lakes Advanced Learners Network, at UW-Madisona

Energy; Aerospace; Biotech; others?

•  Planning the 21st Annual UW Science Expeditions April 14-16, 2023

Sign up for committees Here

Budget Report





•  Other Business

•  Meet next on Monday, January 9, 2023, 10 am, by zoom and in person at the Wisconsin Energy Institute.   Happy New Year!


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.

• Saturday Science Workshops at UW Space Place  nearly every Saturday, from 10 am to 11 am.

These family-friendly events are always free and open to the public every Saturday morning during the school year. This program is held in person only at UW Space Place, 2300 S. Park St, Madison. The workshop starts promptly at 10:00 and is typically over by 11:00.

 Badger Talks LIVE:  Watch live and in archive at  https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and check the schedule for Badger Talks LIVE and In-Person Badger Talks at  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/.  Badger Talks LIVE is on hiatus in December & January and will resume in February 2023. Check back here for the schedule to be posted in early January.   Meanwhile, check out the current schedule of In-Person Badger Talks occurring in communities across Wisconsin.

 • “Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” series of public science talks 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.  On December 14  Dan McCammon of the Department of Physics will speak on “What the Heck is X-Ray Astronomyand Why Do We Bother?”


3. “Snakes Where We Live” Watch Party on December 15 8:30pm at Memorial Union

Come celebrate the broadcast premier on PBS Wisconsin’s “University Place” of “Snakes Where We Live: the Urban Ecology of Serpents” at Memorial Union.  Presenter Will Vuyk will be on hand to provide insights into snakes as well as into the process of working with the PBS Wisconsin team to record a public presentation.  The gathering starts at 8:30pm Thursday December 15, and the broadcast starts at 9:00pm. Check TITU/Today in the Union for the specific room at Memorial Union.  Park for a small fee next door under Helen C. White Library.

The watch party is free and open to all.

Other premiers this month on University Place:

Watch University Place 20+ times a week on the Wisconsin Channel (PBS Wisconsin-2) or anytime, anywhere online.

4.  Come to the Wearable Technology Showcase Wednesday Dec 14 5:00-7:30pm at the UW Makerspace at 215 N. Randall


The MD+I Design Experience in collaboration with Wearable Technology will host a showcase event on the ground floor of the UW-Makerspace, at 215 N. Randall (Wendt Building, southwest of Union South) on Wednesday, 12/14 from 5:00-7:30pm.


This open gallery style event will feature the work of MD+I Capstone teams, student projects from Wearable Technology, food, conversation, a collaborative wish-making design activity and an opportunity to play in the Kohler Visualization Lab.


In Wearable Technology, students create innovative and experimental designs that integrate textiles, technology, and the body. Students in the class explore new ways of integrating microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators to build functional prototypes. Between learning skills in hands-on making, electronics and computer programming, students also get a crash course in the fabrication of technology-rich wearable devices. Projects generated in the course range from the pragmatic to the playful.  Some projects may aim to save lives while others provide new ways of looking at the world around us.


Please drop by at any time during this open event to help us celebrate the conclusion of the fall semester in design + innovation at UW.


Registration is preferred for this event, which is open to the public. Will you help us spread the word by sharing with those you think would be interested?


Thanks! Hope to see you there! 

From Marianne Fairbanks


5. Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers Annual Convention Will Be in Madison on March 9-11, 2023.

See the schedule for submitting proposals for workshops at https://wsst.org/2023-conference.

Deadline:  Sessions & Snapshots – This Thursday, December 15, 2022Please remember that it is WSST Policy that:– All presenters must register for the conference.– No products for services can be offered for sale at the workshops or sessions.– Half-day and full-day workshop fees cannot include a stipend for presenters to cover transportation/lodging costs.Please contact WSST Conference Chairs Corinne Michor <corinne.michor@gmail.com> or Patrick Mootz <patrickmootz@gmail.com> with any questions.


6. #MakeClimateAClass Initiative Coming in April for Earth Month 

#MakeClimateAClass is part of a larger event the Wisconsin Energy Institute hosts called the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate Justice.  #MakeClimateAClass encourages engagement with climate-related issues by having instructional faculty speak on how climate is integrated into their discipline for 10-30 minutes during a class sometime in April.

If you are interested in taking part in this initiative, please provide your contact information and details about your Spring 2023 courses in this Google Form.  For more information and resources, visit the UW–Madison Teach-In landing page.  

Sent by Marina Kerekes of WEI.

7.  IceCube After School January 12 to March 2

Sent by Ellen Bechtol of WIPAC.


8. Grant Opportunity for Users of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve


The Lakeshore Nature Preserve Committee, an oversight committee for UW-Madison’s 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve, is pleased to announce a small grant opportunity (up to $1000) for undergraduates and faculty, staff and graduate students working with undergraduates to facilitate the use of the Preserve for educational purposes.

Go to our website to view the Request for Proposals and to see past grant awards. Please feel free to distribute widely! If your department, program, or organization maintains a list serve or list of funding opportunities we kindly ask you to include this opportunity.

The application deadline is March 1, 2023. Funds should be expended by October 31, 2023 when a final report is due.

Questions may be directed to Preserve Assistant Director Laura Wyatt (laura.wyatt@wisc.edu).

Bryn Scriver

Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve

21 N Park St, Suite 6101

Madison, WI 53715

Cell: 608-220-5560




9. UW-Madison Wisconsin 4-H State Meats Judging Contest on Campus on Saturday February 4


Info at https://Tinyurl.com/5d6yfhup

Coordinated by Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Youth Livestock Specialist; and Jeff Sindelar, Extension Meats Specialist, both of the Dept of Animal & Dairy Sciences; and Jill Jorgensen, Extension 4-H Youth Development Agriculture Specialist


10. Inviting Presenters for Sauk County Wisconsin 4-H’s “Super Saturday” January 28 in Baraboo

Super Saturday will welcome ~150 Sauk County 4-H youth to Baraboo. Most members are K-8th grade, plus we’re engaging about 20 youth high school youth to teach sessions.  Sessions are all-encompassing from arts, animals, baking, robotics and sciences!


All participants register for the event and rank the sessions they want to attend. They are assigned 4 sessions based on availability.

Each session is an hour long. The draft timetable is as follows:

8:30             Registration

9:00             Welcome

9:20-10:20   1st Session

10:25-11:25 2nd Session

11:30-12:15 Lunch

12:20-1:20   3rd Session

1:25-2:25     4th Session

2:30-2:45     Evaluations & Wrap-up


Sauk Country Wisconsin 4-H can reimburse for mileage and supplies.

To register to present, send an email to Sparsons4@wisc.edu


Posted by:

Stacy Parsons

4-H Youth Development Educator

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Extension Sauk County

Office: 608-355-3255

Work Cell: 608-963-1889



11. Check Out the 2022-2023 “Family Science Nights” Opportunities: 


Researchers & Outreachers, if you’d like to help with Family Science Nights over the coming months, please sign up here.

Parents & Teachers, if you’d like help in inviting UW researchers & outreachers to participate in your Family Science event, please sign up here.


12. “The Physics of Climate Change” Invites STEM Teachers to Collaborate


Are you a STEM teacher interested in incorporating climate science concepts into your curriculum but don’t know where to start?

The Physics of Climate Change project, a collaboration between the UW–Madison Department of Physics and Wisconsin’s 4-H program sponsored by the Wisconsin Idea Collaboration Grant, has you covered! Adding climate science concepts into your curriculum this school year is made easy with an engaging activity, easy-to-use teacher materials, and in-class support from the project team.

If you are interested in having the project team join your class for a session during the 2022-23 school year, or if you’re simply interested in receiving the activity instructions, please fill out this form.

Please reach out to Mallory Conlon (mallory.conlon@wisc.edu) with any questions.


13.  Fond du Lac County 4-H Family Learning Day is Saturday, February 25.


4-H Family Learning Day is February 25 at the Fond du Lac Campus of UW-Oshkosh.  We are looking for presenters to teach sessions, including in STEM fields.

Family Learning Day is an opportunity for 4-H members (grades K-12) and the community to learn a new skill. Please help make this day a success by volunteering to teach a session or two. If you need help with your session, invite another person to co-teach with you. The program is held at UW-Oshkosh’s campus at Fond du Lac. Sessions 2 and 3 are 90 minutes, while sessions 1 and 4 are 60 minutes. Indicate the length and time of day that fits your needs. You may repeat your session if you wish.

Here’s the 4-H Family Learning Day Presenter form: https://go.wisc.edu/familylearningday2023presenter.

Please let Tina Engelhardt know if you have any questions.

 Tina Engelhardt

Program Assistant

UW-Madison Extension Fond du Lac County


Phone: (920) 929-3171

Fax: (920) 929-3181

Hearing Impaired Relay: 711



14.  UW Arboretum Winter 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 Prairie, 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. 


UW Arboretum Events

See Arboretum events calendar for details and registration: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/



15. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

Thank You for helping to publicize Madison FUN Bird and Nature Adventures, now entering our 10th Year! 


Your support for these volunteer-led year-round weekly outings helps make Madison a welcoming, vibrant and healthy place for both people and nature.



“Winter Tree ID” Sat Dec 17, 10am along Starkweather Creek with Eva Roos“The Longest Night” Sun Dec 18, 1:30pm at Warner Park Rainbow Shelter with Robin Kling“Gifts for the Wild” Wed Dec 21 1:30pm Senior Adventure at Warner Park Center with Kathlean Wolf“Natures Gifts” Sat Dec 24, 10am at Aldo Leopold/Edna Taylor with Paul Noeldner“Signs of Life” Sat Dec 24, 1:30pm at Pheasant Branch Conservancy with Alex Singer“Favorite Places” Sun Dec 25, 1:30pm at Picnic Point with Friends of Lakeshore Nature Preserve“New Year’s Family Walk” Sat Dec 31, 6:30pm at Aldo Leopold/Edna Taylor with JoAnn Rieke



* Join the FUN with Friends of Urban Nature on Parks and Partners co-sponsored outings!

* Free Naturalist Guided outings are offered in local parks and natural areas year round

* Outings are fun, welcoming, diverse, accessible and family and kid friendly

* Enjoy healthy nature recreation with a bit of fascinating nature education



* Just show up, no registration unless noted

* Dress for an outdoor walk, outings are rain or shine unless weather is dangerous

* See monthly outing publicity at http://CityofMadison.com/Parks/Events/Bird-Nature.cfm and co-sponsor social media

* Find trail maps, fun facts and activities at http://Tinyurl.com/MadisonFUNAdventures

* Connect with parks, environmental and friends groups for more great activities

* Support natural areas in every yard, park and neighborhood for kids, birds, bees, and wildlife!



Thanks for helping connect Madison area Communities and Kids with Nearby Nature! 


Paul Noeldner

Volunteer Madison FUN Coordinator

Wisconsin Master Naturalist Instructor

136 Kensington Maple Bluff


608 698 0104


For more events, see https://cityofmadison.com/parks/events/bird-nature.cfm