Help Us Hold a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon and Make Me Fix Prometheus

DIY Science ZoneOne of the things I love to do is to help people discover how awesome science is. One of the best ways, hands down, is hands on: give people the opportunity to commit science themselves. GeekGirlCon agrees, because they’re letting a team of us hold an all-day-long DIY science zone!

Why am I excited about this? Let me count the ways.

We’re offering a range of science activities. We’re extracting DNA and building neurons. We’re offering genetic taste tests and showing you how to find latent fingerprints. The experiments are for a range of ages and cover a bunch of different areas of science. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to make fossils out of coffee grounds, especially in the heart of Starbucks country?

We’re offering them to an under-served group. Despite the great strides made in the last decades, too many people still view science as being for males. GeekGirlCon celebrates women in geek culture, and that includes the sciences. Here’s our chance to help bust the stereotype of science as being a “guy thing”. Any time I can kick against that stereotype, I will.

The attendees will get to see real-live scientists who aren’t lab-coated stereotypes. I tend to forget that most people don’t know scientists personally or ever meet them. Is it any wonder that, when asked to draw a scientist, many kids draw an older white dude with Doc Brown hair? It’s pervasive enough that characters on The Big Bang Theory were going to be in lab coats before the showrunners met actual science graduate students and realized that t-shirts and jeans were more common. One way to combat that stereotype is to let people meet actual scientists.

Our team is diverse. We’ve got younger and older scientists. Most of our team is female; many are not Caucasian. I want people to realize that science is open to anyone. If we had a team that was all older white guys, then the subtext is, “Science really is just for white dudes with Doc Brown hair.”

We can make Dr. Rubidium suffer by making her listen to Nickelback.

See, to make the DIY Science Zone happen, we’re raising $5,000 to $6,000 for supplies, banners, lodging, and airfare. We’ve all signed up to perform different Acts of Whimsy as we raise more money. Our fearless leader has agreed that, for every $500 we raise, she’ll listen to a different Nickelback album live on a G+ Hangout. And she haaaaaaaates Nickelback. She’s even got a “No Nickelback” sign posted on her lab door.

Dr. Rubidium hates NickelbackBut! She’s trying to weasel out of it! People are now marking their donations as being either pro-Nickelback or anti-Nickelback! Because so many people have marked their donations as anti-Nickelback, she’s not going to have to listen to “Curb”!

This cannot stand. Help the pro-Nickelback forces by donating to our cause. Plus there are a lot of other Acts of Whimsey that’ll happen. Live G+ Hangouts where we take our paper abstracts and make Mad Libs out of them. Seelix’s cat dressed up as Avengers! Heaven help me, I promised that, at $3,000, I’d fix the science and logic errors in Prometheus and re-enact the movie.

With sock puppets.

But if Dr. Rubidium has to listen to multiple Nickelback albums, it’ll all be worth it.

Please. Donate money to make the DIY Science Zone happen. For science. For education.

For Nickelback.

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2 Comments

  1. Auke Slotegraaf
    on September 9, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Cool initiative.
    So, how does one make fossils from coffee grounds?

  2. on September 9, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You essentially make a dough out of the coffee grounds, flour, and some other ingredients. Then you take the item that you want a “fossil” of and press it into the mix. Let the mix dry. The end result is an external mold fossil.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] ~Dr. Stephen Granade, DIY Science Zone volunteer […]

  2. By We Did Mad Lib Abstracts for Science | Live Granades on September 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

    […] part of our fundraising to hold a DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon, we promised to perform acts of whimsy as we hit funding milestones. We’ve passed $3,000, […]