Science Expeditions is the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s annual science open house. More than 15 campus venues, including laboratories, museums, greenhouses, and medical and animal centers, are open to visitors over the course of a weekend, and offers opportunities to mix with the university’s scientists and students and learn about their work.
The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at central campus serves as the hub of activity, hosting shows and dozens of exploration stations. Kids and adults alike can participate in hands-on science experimentation with the help of educators and researchers. Exploration stations are also set up in other buildings, such D.C. Smith Greenhouse and the Zoological Museum.
A free trolley based at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery transports visitors to event venues all over campus. All details about bussing in, parking on campus, and the trolley can be found at the Science Expeditions’ site, as well as maps for parking and maps of campus locations.
The McPherson ERI held three exploration stations at the annual Science Expeditions Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
Different Ways of Seeing
Using goggles and masks that simulate visual impairment, children and adults were able to try tasks like writing and reading, noting the challenges that visually impaired individuals face. They found out how easy—or how hard—it is to do things when your vision is impaired.
Can you Believe your Eyes?
The experience of visual illusions may occur when perception differs from reality, when the brain may be “tricked” into interpreting the data provided by the eye in ways that are not “true.” This exploration station examined physiological illusions and cognitive illusions to help visitors learn about visual perception and the brain.
Be Wise, Shade Your Eyes
This exploration station educated visitors about damaging ultraviolet light, which is beyond the visible light spectrum, and promoted sunglass use to combat ultraviolet light exposure in the eye. Complimentary bookmarks display the Ultraviolet Light Index and have the URL of the online Ultraviolet Light Index Forecast. Visitors received a few ultraviolet-light-detecting beads, and learned how the beads produce color when lighted by a UV-emitting-flashlight. Guidelines were offered for children to use the beads to conduct investigations of ultraviolet light in their home environments.