Celebrate science throughout Wisconsin! Explore the importance of water in your community, take part in a statewide citizen science project and enjoy the wonder and fun of science at a location near you. From birds to breweries, rocks to robots and more, the Wisconsin Science Festival has something for everyone. Held throughout the state on October 17-20, the festival welcomes people of all ages for interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, talks, performances, demonstrations and conversations with leading researchers and creative thinkers. Unleash your curiosity!
Check out all of the WSF events on the festival website.
Some key events
All events listed below take place at the Discovery Building, except Science on the Square.
- Who Owns Science? Representation, Inclusion, Culture and the Scientific Enterprise: Our current culture recognizes certain ways of participating in and practicing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). What do we lose when we leave out practices and perspectives from non-white, non-dominant cultures and legacies? How can we expand our understanding of STEM? Join us at 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, as an expert panel discusses STEM from a diverse and inclusive set of viewpoints.
- Big Ideas for Busy People: Water, Water, Everywhere!: This popular event featuring five-minute talks from some of UW-Madison’s biggest brains is back! This year’s edition brings a flood of information about the one substance that all life depends on—water. 2019 is the Year of Safe Drinking Water in Wisconsin. Dive in to an evening of fun and facts about Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers, faucets, snow and more. This fast-paced event starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 17.
- Science in Entertainment and the Arts: The Most Powerful Way to Communicate Science?: For all the efforts to encourage scientists to engage with the public, there may be one way that is exponentially more influential than any other—through entertainment and the arts. Join us at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 18, as experts from the worlds of visual art, theater, dance and film explore the power of each of their crafts to connect with, and influence, audiences. Then, don’t miss a follow-on conversation about what happens when scientists and playwrights join forces from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.
- Science on the Square: This Friday night bash will take place on the capitol square in downtown Madison. Explore dozens of venues at your own pace. Museums, pubs, restaurants, stores and more will host #WiSciFest events, including informal science talks or demonstrations, tastings, stargazing, hands-on activities and more. Look for the festive lights and signage to find science fest events. Don’t miss Beesly, the science festival mascot, who will be buzzing around the different events for photo ops! Be sure to catch a ride on the Science Trivia Trolley to test your science knowledge and earn prizes. Visit one of our WSF Swag Zone locations to earn your sustainable swag to help us light up the night. 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, October 18.
- Science of Star Wars: Join Kyle Hill from Because Science as he busts some myths from the Star Wars movies and takes part in an audience Q&A. Feel free to dress for the topic in your best Star Wars regalia! Costumes are encouraged but not required. 8 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 19.