Philadelphia Science Festival Sets Dates for 2013, Aims to Get Locals Questioning... Well, Everything

    Philadelphia Science Festival Sets Dates for 2013, Aims to Get Locals
                       Questioning... Well, Everything

PR Newswire

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 17, 2012

Third annual event set for April 18 -28, 2013 with more than 100
thought-provoking events

The Dow Chemical Company returns for the third year as presenting sponsor of
the Festival

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Philadelphia Science
Festival organizers have questions – lots of questions. So as they announce
dates for the third annual event and more than 100 programs in April 2013,
they decided to explore potential answers. After all, they're not the only
ones who want to know what makes clothing "sweat proof," why Philly soft
pretzels taste so darn good and even how ancient Egyptians mummified their


The result is a social media campaign leading up to the 3^rd Annual
Philadelphia Science Festival April 18-28. The campaign will kick off early
next year and relies on world renowned experts from within the Festival's core
collaborating institutions – experts like Robert Hicks, Ph.D., director of the
Mutter Museum, and Stephen Phillips, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Museum
of Archaeology and Anthropology – to answer those questions. The scientific
experts lend their insight to a series of online videos being rolled out
through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest with the hash tag #BeCurious.
The videos will also be a key component of the Festival's new website and blog
slated to launch early next year.

"The premise behind the Science Festival is to engage all Philadelphians,
people who don't necessarily consider themselves scientists in the traditional
sense," said Dennis M. Wint, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute,
which organizes the Philadelphia Science Festival. "We want everyone to look
at the world around us, at what we eat, drink, read and watch everyday with a
sense of curiosity. To realize that others are just as curious and that it's
possible that we might wonder about the same things. Together, we can discover
the answers, tapping into some of the best minds in the world right here in
Philadelphia. Hopefully, the conversations we start during these 10 days each
April will fuel our collective curiosity for years to come."

Since its founding in 2011, the Philadelphia Science Festival – one of the
first of its kind in the nation – has brought together more than 250 new
partnerships and collaborations, taking science out of the classroom and into
restaurants, museums, libraries, galleries and even onto street corners. More
than 120,000 people (including an estimated 30,000+ students) have
participated in programs, most of them free or offered at-cost, in the first
two years. Festival organizers expect exponential growth as the concept
catches on. When it first started, the idea of a citywide science celebration
was unheard of in mainstream America, although it's a growing trend in Europe,
Wint said.

A complete list of Festival events will be available in February at, but below is a sampling of the signature programs
already confirmed.

— Science Carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Saturday, April 20 10am-4pm
A free outdoor carnival on the Parkway, featuring more than 100 hands-on
interactive activities, science-themed performances and demonstrations that
the whole family can enjoy. FREE

— Icarus at the Edge of Time (Philadelphia Premiere)
Wednesday, April 24 at 8pm | The Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall
The Festival and PIFA partner up to "reach for the stars" in the Philadelphia
premiere of Icarus at the Edge of Time, a whirlwind journey through space and
time – to the very edge of understanding. A futuristic update of the Greek
myth, Icarus at the Edge of Time is based on the children's book by Brian
Greene, America's best-selling and most visible physicist. Now set in outer
space, the story focuses on a boy who challenges the awesome might of a black
hole. It comes alive in Verizon Hall accompanied by stunning multimedia works
and the vibrant sound of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. ($)

—Beer Chemistry: Perfect Pairings
Friday, April 26 at 7pm | Yards Brewing Company
We all love a cold one, but what makes an IPA different from a saison? The
Yards brewmasters show you the chemistry behind some of our favorite brews and
the science behind the flavors. Afterward, the experience continues in the
Yards Tasting Room with six beer and food pairings specifically selected for
their properties. The only caveat? Guests must be 21 or older. ($)

—Murder at the Mutter™: Outbreak!
Friday, April 26 at 7pm | The Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of
The third iteration of this real-life whodunit! Local forensic experts help
you decipher clues and analyze data to solve the mystery of a hypothetical
outbreak – all while learning about the life and skills of a crime scene
investigator. ($)

Saturday, April 27 from 10am to 2pm | Schuylkill Center for Environmental
In recognition of Earth Day, this is a celebration of all things natural. Get
down and dirty with family-friendly explorations, citizen science projects,
environmental art, games and story times. Plus, the Pavilion Stage will
feature a lively and entertaining mix of live music, animal shows, poetry and
special guests – and there's even a native plant sale.

—Science of Play Discovery Day
Saturday, April 27 from 10am to 4pm | Please Touch Museum
Playing is science? You betcha. "Playing around" with ideas is critical to
discovery, and young children – with their limitless curiosity and love of
play and exploration – make excellent scientists. We'll introduce kids to the
process of scientific inquiry using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering,
Art and Math) principles found in toys, animals, art and the natural world.
Come join the Philadelphia Zoo, the Please Touch Museum, and other kid-focused
organizations as we host a day of science and play for the smallest scientists
in the city!

— The Morgue the Merrier: The Science of the Living Dead
Saturday, April 27 at 6pm | Laurel Hill Cemetery
Join Dr. Steven Scholzman, author of the "Zombie Autopsies," and discover how
we have defined "dead" and "alive" throughout history, take part in a body
part scavenger hunt and check out a live zombie autopsy. Afterwards, party
like the living dead with refreshments, drinks and zombie activities!

The Festival coincides with The Franklin Institute Awards Week, which each
year honors pioneers in science, technology and business leadership.
Continuing its nearly 200 year old legacy of bringing the world's most
influential scientists to Philadelphia to be recognized for their
extraordinary achievements (think Einstein, Curie, and Hawking), The Franklin
Institute Awards is among the oldest and most widely known awards programs in
science. Among the eight recipients being honored on Thursday, April 25 are:
Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Inc., who helped revolutionize personal
computing, making it accessible to the masses; William Labov, Ph.D., of the
University of Pennsylvania, who established the cognitive basis of language
variation and change and has studied non-standard dialects; and Subra Suresh,
Sc.D., director of the National Science Foundation, for helping change our
understanding of how materials behave and whose research also showed how
deformation of biological cells can be linked to diseases.

The Laureates – both past and present – will be in Philadelphia between April
22 and April 26 and will participate in a series of lectures, panels and
hands-on demonstrations as well as in specific Festival programming.

"Connecting today's leading scientific minds with the Philadelphia community –
to have them work and play alongside each other for a few days – is exactly
the kind of accessible science that would make our namesake, Benjamin
Franklin, proud," said Wint. "Through their remarkable accomplishments, in an
array of disciplines, each laureate has positively impacted the quality of
human life and deepened our understanding of the universe."

In addition to these programs, there will be special celebrations in 15 Free
Library branch locations as part of PSF's Neighborhood Science Afterschool
initiative. The 2013 Festival will close with Discovery Weekend, featuring six
events taking place in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and gardens,
with hands-on, interactive activities designed to engage communities in the
science taking place where they live.

About The Franklin Institute
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and
innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as
a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania's most visited museum, it is
dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access
to hands-on science education. For more information, visit

About the Philadelphia Science Festival
One of the first celebrations of its kind in the country, the Philadelphia
Science Festival is a 10-day celebration of science and technology in everyday
places – parks, restaurants, bars, libraries and museums. It asks
Philadelphians to question the world around them and aims to inspire not only
the next generation of scientists and engineers, but also create homegrown
citizen scientists. More than 105 partners are working together to produce the
Festival, which runs April 18-28 is presented by The Dow Chemical Company and
organized by The Franklin Institute. To learn more, visit or call 215-448-1128.


  oPhotos and artwork are available for publication at:
  oPSF is on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest: PHLScienceFest
  oThe 2013 hashtag is #PSF2013

SOURCE The Franklin Institute

Contact: Jimmy Contreras, 267-687-0225 or; or Matthew
Vlahos, 267-687-0226 or; or Stefanie Santo, 215-448-1152
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