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Best things to do at the World Science Festival 2013

Screen your genes and analyze weather maps in Washington Square Park at Sunday’s Ultimate Science Street Fair, part of the World Science Festival.

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    World Science Festival Street Fair

Photograph: Dominic Perri

World Science Festival Street Fair


While not every event at the World Science Festival screams “kid-friendly” (take the lecture on the neurobiological basis of consciousness, for instance), the Ultimate Science Street Fair on Sunday, June 2 (10am–6pm), which turns Washington Square Park into an interactive outdoor laboratory, is the one day of the year where even the artsiest wee ones can become astrophysicists- and archaeologists-in-training. Though tickets quickly sold out for many of the other family-friendly World Science Festival events, including the whaler schooner sailing trip, the Cool Jobs conference and the “What is Time?” panel, families can explore the best of the rest this Sunday, where real scientists from places like MoMath, Liberty Science Center and Columbia University host activity booths and performances throughout the day—all of which are absolutely free. (The street fair is broken into nine different science centers, including Brain Boulevard and and Innovation Alley.) Read on to learn about some of the activities you and your kids won't want to miss.

Create the next Chanel No. 5

Kids can design their own fragrances at the Smell Lab and learn about what goes into the process of scent–making. They’ll also score the strength of their noses with an IQ test. Science Square, 1:30pm.

Study the science of Yum-ology
At "Eat–Play–Learn," White House pastry chef Bill Yosses will use some of his famous confections to show kids why and how nutritious food helps stimulate brain activity and energy. Afterward, neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki helps burn off those sweets with some educational playtime. Brain Boulevard, 12:30pm.

Finally figure out what a black hole is
Humans can’t see black holes, so scientists study them through the power of sound. At this activity booth, kids explore these mysterious, invisible abysses by playing with computer games and an interferometer to simulate curved space-time. Plus, real astronomers will be on hand to answer everything the awesome tools can’t. Innovation Alley, all day.

Defy gravity
Join the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum as they simulate what it’s like to live in outer space. Kids put an object (they’ll choose from items like a glass of water or a marshmallow Peep) into a bell jar, then remove all the air from the enclosure to create a world without gravity. Discovery Lane, all day.

Keep an eye on the stage
Throughout the day, special guests will take turns performing and demonstrating on the fair’s various stages. Highlights include NBA All–Star and author Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s stories about African-American inventors in history, followed by a rundown of the physics of basketball (LaGuardia Stage, 2:30pm), an interactive dance workshop that studies the neurology of movement (LaGuardia Stage, 11:30am), musical theater courtesy of the Central Park Zoo (Park Stage, 12:30, 2, 3, 4pm) and a T.Rex troubadour from Field Station: Dinosaurs (LaGuardia Stage, noon, 2, 4pm).

The World Science Festival takes place at various city locations through Sunday, June 2; the free Ultimate Science Street Fair takes place on Sunday, June 2.



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