Thursday, March 6, 2014

43 days until the 2014 Cambridge Science Festival!

We're just over a month away from the 8th iteration of the Cambridge Science Festival.  Have you marked your calendars for April 18-27, 2014?  We'll see another Robot Zoo, print in 3D, develop video games, understand the science of archery or modern cocktails, eat science, discover technology in jazz and runway fashion!  Check out our Schedule of Events for more.

In other news, allow me to introduce the newest member of our Teen Advisory Board.

Kathi Marcos Allphin is a homeschooled student who lives on the North Shore. Her interests are far too numerous to list, but they include genetics, science communication, music, linguistics, and science fiction (particularly anything by Isaac Asimov). She writes a public science blog called Endoplasma at

Here's her latest entry about the science festival!

Filling the chasm
by: Kathi Marcos Allphin

Far too often, the humanities and the arts are segregated from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects.

This unfortunate separation manifests itself in classrooms, bookstores, academia, and other workplaces, but also in other parts of our everyday lives. However, this separation is not beneficial for those stranded on either side of the divide.

The initiative needing to be taken is that of integration. It is crucial that people abandon their perception of the humanities and STEM as separate entities, and allow the fields to exchange ideas with one another for mutual benefit. I wholeheartedly believe that there is a staggering amount that can be reaped from an interdisciplinary approach. An interdisciplinary curriculum, an interdisciplinary life, an interdisciplinary world.

Imagine a world in which subjects such as the following were taught in schools: The effect of technology on family connectedness, Exploring the relationship between ebooks and the reader experience, Meet Billy the Bacteriophage: Telling Science with Stories.

Likewise, imagine a world in which these professions were prominent. Science Singer, Science Storyteller, Robopsychologist, and Technofamilial Researcher.

I recently became a member of Cambridge Science Festival’s Teen Advisory Board. The Cambridge Science Festival, which is held in Cambridge, MA during the public school’s April vacation, is an incredible, fun-filled experience.

Here are three events that capture the diversity of the offerings, Science en Español for preschoolers, an educator workshop on incorporating synthetic biology into the classroom, and a lecture on embodied cognition in music by a MacArthur (“Genius Grant”) Fellow, (not to mention the robot zoo.)

All of the events are awesome, and the vast majority are absolutely free of charge.

The mission of the Cambridge Science Festival, according to the website, is to promote and provide education about STEAM – related subjects. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. I applaud the Festival’s initiative to incorporate arts amidst the classic STEM. This speaks to a future in which STEM and humanities/arts can exchange pieces of wisdom with one another.

It is heartening to know that the youth of this generation will be exposed to more open-minded thinking on this subject. It is this train of thought (and action) that will transport today’s curious youth and help them to become the pioneers in science storytelling and robopsychology.

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