Science Comes Alive Downtown With Science in the City

February 14, 2012

By Teya Vitu

Science and technology will be in the air – and the Main Library, the Children’s Museum and more than a dozen Downtown businesses – for Science in the City taking place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 18.

You’d expect a science and technology festival at a museum, but this Arizona SCITECH festival event gets right down to the retail level.

“The theme is to impress upon everyone that science and technology is everywhere,” said Don Ruedy, the festival’s Tucson coordinator. “We want to get people to realize how important science and technology is.”

Science in the City especially focuses on family and kids of all ages. Think of it as a science variation of the monthly 2nd Saturdays festivities. That wouldn’t be much of a stretch because 2nd Saturdays Downtown is presenting Science in the City.

Science is the name of the game all the time at the Children’s Museum.

“In some ways, we don’t ever call it science because it’s just fun,” said Peggy Solis, the museum’s marketing director.

Fun is what this science and technology extravaganza will be all about.

High school students from Catalina Foothills, Desert View, Flowing Wells and Mountain View will put on an engineering showcase from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Children’s Museum, which will have free admission on February 18, and students from the TUSD Regional Science Center will do demonstrations at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library.

Many Downtown businesses will transform into mini-science centers for Science in the City:

• Access Tucson, 124 East Broadway, will have TV production workshops for kids.

• O2 Modern Fitness, 186 East Broadway, will demonstrate bicycle pedal stroke efficiency.

• Chicago Store, 130 East Congress, will bring in a University of Arizona music professor to describe the science of music.

• Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 North Toole, will have an organic food discussion.

• 47 Scott, 47 North Scott, will delve into the science of cocktails.

• DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails will produce the “coolest food in the world” from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Children’s Museum with the assistance of liquid nitrogen.

• Etherton Gallery, 135 South 6th Avenue, will demonstrate the use of light.

• The Drawing Studio, 33 South 6th Avenue, will explore sacred geometry with an examination of the “golden ratio.”

• Headliners Barber Shop, 216 East Congress, will reveal the science of hair styling.

• On a Roll, 63 East Congress, examines the science of cooking.

• Knucklehead Alley, 63 East Congress, shows off the technology of knucklehead motorcycle engines.

• Got All Your Marbles, 220 East Congress, will do a marble mass experiment.

• HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery, 266 East Congress, will dip into the science of ice cream.

• Sacred Machine, 245 East Congress, will introduce people to nanoart.

Science in the City is just one of more than 200 science-related events across the state that make up the Arizona SCITECH Festival, which is taking place from January through March to raise awareness that Arizona is a driving force in the world of science and technology.

Science in the City gives people an opportunity to discover the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) innovation and education taking place in Tucson.

“We want Tucson to become better known as a science center,” Ruedy said.

The lot on Congress Street between Scott and Stone will transform into Interactive Park with hands-on adventures with Zero Gravity, the Mathematics Road Show, a rocket demonstration from the Southern Arizona Rocketry Association, and a Sun Tran hybrid bus.

UA Downtown at Stone and Pennington will host science discussions. More UA activities will take place at City High School, 48 East Pennington Street.

The “Mars and Beyond” exhibition at the Rialto Exhibition will offer 2-for-1 admission

Pima County Joint Technological Education District (JTED), comprised of dozens of local high schools, will have students and teachers at the Children’s Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (before Science in the City itself starts) doing activities with children. These will including completing a 3D animation, a food demonstration, CPR for pets and first aid on dog and cat dolls.

“Kids can plant a seed in a cup and take it home and watch it grow,” Solis said. “We will have a microscope so kids can look at their hair and skin.”

Come on Downtown on Saturday afternoon and explore around for even more encounters with science and technology at Science in the City.