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2018 AAAS Family Science Day


AAAS Family Science Days is a free public science event features a diverse range of scientists engaging the public in current science topics. See the schedule of science shows or Meet a Scientist speakers, as well as exciting hands-on activities that took place during Family Science Days at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting below.


2018 Family Science Days Stage Show Schedule
Saturday, February 17   Sunday, February 18  
11:30am Becoming a Scientist
Raul Ramos
Neuroscience PhD Student
Brandeis University
11:30am The REAL Hoarders: Pika Biology in a Time of Global Change
Johanna Varner
Assistant Professor of Biology
Colorado Mesa University
12:00pm How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog
Lee Alan Dugatkin
Professor of Biology and Distinguished University Scholar
The University of Louisville
12:00pm Beauty and the Beak
Jane Veltkamp & Deborah Lee Rose
Raptor Biologist / Author
Birds of Prey Northwest
Presented by: Space Science Explorers/ CASIS
12:30 pm How Games are Created- a Guide to Awesomeness
Andrew Augustin
Creative Director
Notion Games LLC
1:30pm All About Ants
Alex Wild
Curator of Entomology
The University of Texas at Austin
1:30pm The Dumpster Project
Presented by: The Dumpster Project
2:00pm Risky Bones
Jason Osborne
President / Cofounder at Paleo Quest
CIO at Ector County ISD
Paleo Quest and Ector County ISD
2:00pm Fun with Chemistry
Kate Biberdorf
The University of Texas at Austin
2:30pm Connecting with the Cosmos
Amy Jackson
Founder/Director Starry Sky Austin
Starry Sky Austin
2:30pm The Physics Circus
Presented by: The University of Texas at Austin
3:00pm Beauty and the Beak
Jane Veltkamp & Deborah Lee Rose
Raptor Biologist / Author
Birds of Prey Northwest
3:00pm Mad Science Marvels of Motion
Presented by: Mad Science of Austin

2018 Family Science Days Exhibitors

Analog Devices
Visit us to learn how you can use small devices to measure the nutritional content like calories, fat, carbs, and protein of your fruit, vegetables, or cupcakes!

Austin Community College Hands on Science
Explore exhibits that make science fun and accessible to both kids and adults. All activities are designed to be picked up and played with, and many are constructed with inexpensive materials so you can make them yourself at home. You may find inspiration for your own science fair project!

CASIS/Space Station Explorers

Join us to explore the people, technology, and science experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS), take a virtual reality tour of the Space Station, see how astronauts sleep, eat, and bathe in space, and learn how to access all the educational programs related to the ISS National Lab.


Create your own Sound Sandwich, a musical instrument made from tongue depressors, rubber bands, and a straw. Explore how sound is caused by vibrations and moves in waves, and how differently sized waves produce different pitches of sound. Experiment with your Sound Sandwich to find the perfect tune to play for your friends!

Iowa Neuroscience Institute

Challenge your brain and test your perceptions with interactive neuroscience activities. Here, participants will learn about the nervous system and how it affects their behavior.

Linguistic Society of America

You use language all the time, but do you know how it works? See what speech looks like and how scientists study the sounds of language. Learn how the human mind processes the meanings of words and sentences. Discover the science behind your everyday communication with language scientists from around the country. This booth is partly supported by the National Science Foundation.


Meet the winners of the AAAS/Subaru Science Book and Film Prize and engage in experiments based on their award-winning books.

Mad Science of Austin & San Antonio

"FUN"-DAMENTAL FORCES: Experience the awesome forces of gravity, inertia and centripetal force by experimenting with cool devices to watch them work. Kids as young as pre-K can explore the wonder of the world around them by actually doing chemistry, physics, rocket engineering and other types of science.


Learn to make an LED shine bright and a buzzer buzzzzzz with Arduino and MakeCrate! These fun tasks introduce kids to engineering and coding, then you can continue the fun through monthly project subscriptions!

National DNA Day (National Human Genome Research Institute)

Learn about DNA and the human genome! Use a micropipette to make your own bioart design, and contribute to a larger 'pipette by numbers' design (then come back later to see how the design comes along). Then explore your genetic traits with the Genetic Trait Tree: look at a set of inherited physical traits, such as dimples, and follow the guide to identify which 'group' you are in based on your combination of traits.

Pixel Profundo

Learn about the local species that make Central Texas unique, with augmented reality coloring pages. You can take a selfie with a 3-D interactive Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Barton Springs Salamander, or a Golden Cheek Warbler. Then, follow the path of a raindrop from the mountains to the ocean on our detailed, kid-scale watershed table.

Science Mill

Robots at Play: Try your hand at coding and programming with a variety of robots! Color code with the Ozobots, drive an mBot and design your own app for it, challenge our humanoid to do headstands and push-ups, or try your hand with our Flipper Bots!

Science Storytellers

Get to know some of the scientists at the AAAS Annual Meeting, with Science Storytellers! Pull up a chair and have a one-on-one conversation with a scientist, then share your story with us (we’ll provide tips from professional science journalists). You'll leave with your own reporter's notebook filled with new ideas, new questions, and maybe some new discoveries too.

Society for Neuroscience

The brain is the most complex biological structure in the known universe. Enjoy a variety of brain games and learn about neuroscience – which is rich with exciting discoveries, big unknowns, and important consequences for people. Can you beat the jelly belly taste test, or the mirror tracing game?

Swansea University- Research as Art

View Research as Art, a unique competition that provides a platform for researchers at Swansea University to convey the importance, emotion, beauty and humanity of their research. It’s different from other image competitions because the story is what’s most important. The image is there to grab you, and the text reveals the story, the process, the passion, and the humanity behind the research.

The Dumpster Project

The Dumpster Project is transforming a 36-square-foot trash dumpster into an environmentally friendly human home. Climb into the Dumpster home and explore its features and interactive displays. Participate in Dumpster 101 science lessons: measure your lung function and learn about air quality; build a water filter and test water cleanliness; measure how plants generate or store carbon dioxide; and ignite steel wool and watch us freeze items with liquid nitrogen.


Austin is the live music capital of the world! Rock out with Thinkery, Austin’s center for “why” and “how.” Create your own sweet music with our DIY guitar and drumset, equipped with the invention toolkit Makey Makey, and conductive rocks and minerals.

University of Texas at Austin

Explore hands-on science activities and demonstrations with University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students. Explore fabulous fossils, create your own CD greenhouse, learn how nanotechnology makes your smart phone function, or design your own pollination station for birds and bees.

Related Scientific Disciplines