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Fluffy Science Workshops

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Saturday, October 26, 2019

Workshops will take place in October 16 - 26 at elementary and middle schools in the states of New York, Michigan and Long Island.

On October 19, from 10 AM to 1:30 PM, you can participate in drop-in workshops during Science Festival at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, Michigan.

Fluffy Science” that features a series of science workshops for middle school students led by a Polish-American team and coordinated by Prof. Gary Blanchard from Michigan State University and Dr. Magdalena Osial from University of Warsaw and Making Scientists (Manufaktura Naukowców) and run by a pair of polish and American student. It was created on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Polish-US diplomatic relations. Students will learn about the history of science through stories about famous Polish Americans who changed the world through their amazing discoveries. Just to mention: Roald Hoffmann (theoretical chemist, b. 1937; Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1981), Stephanie Kwolek (polymer chemist and inventor, 1923-2014) and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (polymer chemist, b. 1950), Rudolf Modrzejewski (Ralph Modjeski) (civil engineer, 1860-1940), Andrew Schally (endocrinologist, b. 1926; Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977), Albert Michelson (physicist, 1852-1931; Nobel Prize in Physics, 1907), Mieczyslaw Bekker (vehicle engineer, 1905-1989), Henryk Magnuski (telecommunications engineer, 1909-1978). Fluffy Science aims to make science more popular and to show just how prevalent it is. In the workshops, participating students will learn about the principles of science using household items and other safe materials.

Understanding science can be easy and fun, and does not require a fully equipped laboratory. Students can perform experiments in glass jars using safe substances like baking soda or vinegar. In these workshops we will conduct experiments, take notes and discuss our observations. Participants will construct a hovercraft, find out what plastic is made of, build a DNA model and observe how light behaves in contact with air, liquids and plastic. What could be more fun than to be a scientist? In these workshops, young people will discover the fundamentals of science and the importance of learning.

Our workshops will combine science and history with stories of pioneering figures who changed science through their discoveries. Together we will learn about Nobel Prize winners, engineers and many other science superheroes. Participating students will work in pairs to learn about collaboration and responsibility. They will wear lab coats and goggles and work with safe, plastic laboratory equipment, like flasks, beakers, petri dishes and pipettes. All chemicals and other materials used will be safe and widely available in grocery stores and pharmacies. In this way young people will discovery that chemistry and physics are everywhere. And by learning about science, they will come to recognize the hundreds of processes taking place at all times in nature.

The project “Fluffy Science” was created by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with Michigan State University, the University of Warsaw and The Embassy of the Republic of Poland, and in partnership with American Chemical Society, Making Scientist (Manufaktura Naukowców) and Adelphi University.

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