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April 17, 2015

Philadelphia Science Festival makes it hip to be square

Science-filled fun makes its nerdy return

Events Festivals
Astronaut Franklin Institute Philadelphia Science Festival/for PhillyVoice

Even astronauts don't want to miss the Philadelphia Science Festival.

Science geeks young and old will head to over one hundred events that make up the Philadelphia Science Festival -- April 24 through May 2. For its fifth year, the Franklin Institute-led festival will host nine days of events all over the Philadelphia region from outdoor demonstrations for the whole family to adults-only pub crawls.

The calendar also includes two dates designated for a specific theme: Astronomy Night is April 24 and Discovery Day is April 25. For these dates, locations throughout the Philly and South Jersey region will host similar events for families, from star-gazing sessions to rocket launches.

See below for our top festival picks then click here for the full event schedule

8-Bit Night

PSF kicks off with a classic video game-themed party for those 21 and up. Attendees will get nostalgic with games like Oregon Trail, Frogger and Dr. Mario, dissect an arcade game and use old Gameboys to make music. Animal Style, Storm Blooper and others will provide live jams and Yards' Philadelphia Science Festival beer will be available.

Friday, April 24
7 p.m. | $15
The Franklin Institute
271 N. 21st St.
(215) 448-1200

Notes, Bits & Bytes

See what technology can really do with a day of tinkering. Use modular circuit components to make music or dance with a robot (really!) at Drexel's ExCITE Center.

Sunday, April 26
1 p.m. | Free admission
The ExCITE Center
3401 Market St.
(215) 895-6635

Sustainability Sunday

Learn how to make your everyday life a little greener one step at a time with this collaboration between the Franklin Institute and Lower Merion's Environmental Advisory Council and Conservancy. Attendees will find out how to follow "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" better, how planting helps combat climate change and more.

Sunday, April 26
1 p.m. | Free admission
1950 Spring Mill Rd., Gladwyne, PA,
(610) 527-5234

Is There a Doctor in the House? Jefferson Simulation Lab

Find out all about what real live doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals use to learn their trade. Attendees will see high-tech simulators used as teaching tools and participate in hands-on activities.

Sunday, April 26
1 p.m. | Free admission
Thomas Jefferson University
Dorrance Hamilton Building Clinical Simulation Labs
1001 Locust St.

Fishtown Science Crawl

Grab a wristband and hop to your favorite Fishtown drinking holes. There you'll find happy hour discounts and hands-on scientific demonstrations. From making flower bombs to Q&A sessions with butchers and brewers, the whole day is full of cool events for the over 21 set.

Sunday, April 26
2 p.m. | Free admission, $5 for specials with wristband
Times and locations vary

Cookie Lab

Think baking is a piece of cake? Once they walk into the cookie lab, attendees 21 and over will find out how just the smallest tweak in a recipe creates much different results. 

Tuesday, April 28
6:30 p.m. | $20
1901 Vine St.
(215) 686-5323

Nerd Nite: Science Myths Busted!

Nerd Nite at the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival. 

The PFS-edition of this popular monthly meeting of the minds brings together all things geeky and fun. This night will examine popular myths and, well, bust them. With science. Get there early, as seats at Nerd Nite fill up fast.

Wednesday, April 29
7:30 p.m. | $5
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave.

Gross Anatomy

Talk about all the icky stuff with doctors at Ruba Club Studios. Gary Beauchamp, Ph.D., will discuss urine, Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., will talk about stress sweat and Katharine Prigge, Ph.D., will chat about earwax. 

Thursday, April 30
6:30 p.m. | $7 in advance, $10 at the door
Ruba Club Studios
416 Green St.
(215) 627-9831

You're the Expert Featuring Wyatt Cenac

Host Chris Duffy brings his live show to PFS. "You're the Expert" features comedians mingling with scientists and trying to figure out their expertise. Comedians Jo Firestone, Zhubin Parang and former "The Daily Show" correspondent Wyatt Cenac will participate in this night of gags.

Friday, May 1
8 p.m. | $15
The Franklin Institute
271 N. 21st St.
(215) 448-1200

Science Carnival on the Parkway

Philadelphia Science Festival carnival
The 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival.

The whole festival culminates in a big carnival on Logan Square. Attendees of all ages will find scientific demonstrations, hands-on activities, games and live entertainment thanks to over 150 exhibitors. There will be zoo animals, robots and food trucks -- what else could you need?

Saturday, May 2
10 a.m. | Free admission
Logan Square
Benjamin Franklin Parkway between Race and Vine streets