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World Science Festival 2011

Five things your family won't want to miss at this annual science fair.

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the World Science Festival

    World Science Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the World Science Festival

    World Science Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the World Science Festival

    World Science Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the World Science Festival

    World Science Festival

Photograph: Courtesy of the World Science Festival

World Science Festival

The returns to New York City for five days of explanation, exploration and experimentation in an effort to prove that science is more than just another school subject. Here are the five best events for curious young minds.

1. Illuminating Light: The Journey of a Photon Through Time and Mind
The Joshua Light Show's dancing beams will jump-start little scientists' synapses. Then, take a guided journey through space and time with Carter Emmart, the director of Astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, and neuroscientist Joy Hirsch as they trace light's travels from the edge of the universe to your eye, then on to the creative recesses of your brain. Sat June 4 6--7:30pm. American Museum of Natural History. $15.

2. From the City to the Stars: A Night of Stargazing at Brooklyn Bridge Park
There's nothing like stargazing on a summer night. Use one of the dozens of telescopes on hand to identify constellations and see the moon up close. Young astronomers can also sprawl out under the Discovery Dome, an HD projection theater that showcases asteroids and the solar system. Fri June 3 at 8:30pm. Brooklyn Bridge Park. Free.

3. Science on Site: Explorations of Governors Island
Botanists, explorers and adventurers will learn to see the world (or at least Governors Island) through the eyes of a scientist. Dig for oysters in New York Harbor, discover the wonders of a sundial, hunt for bugs and plants, and see a "man-lifting kite" soar over the island. Sat June 4 10am--6pm. Governors Island. Free.

4. Cool Jobs
Roboticists, mechanical engineers, evolutionary biologists and other outstanding career pioneers give kids an inside glimpse into some of the coolest gigs around. Little ones learn what it's like to build flying machines, comedic robots and time-travel devices. Sat June 4 2--3:30pm. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. $15

5. World Science Festival Street Fair
It's not every day a person can watch robots sumo wrestle, hang with Buddy the T-Rex and concoct physics-defying slime in the middle of Washington Square Park. Both kids and adults will love the seemingly endless stream of activities, games and performances—all with an (gasp!) educational twist. Sun June 5 10am--6pm. Washington Square Park. Free.

The runs from June 1--5 at various locations around the city (212-348-1400, worldsciencefestival.com).

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