FSU hosts first science festival

Over 500 people gathered in Crocker Grove on Saturday, April 25, petting goats, making batteries out of fruit and watching robots dance as part of FSU’s first science festival.

Director of the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning Irene Porro had been involved with the Cambridge Science Festival for years, so when she was asked by one of their representatives to help bring the festival to Framingham, she was happy to work on the project.

Porro said the event was a success, with tables and presenations hosted by over 20 FSU departments, clubs and centers, all of which brought passion and excitement to the festival.

The Smithsonian sponsored a display of images to celebrate the Hubble telescope’s 25th “birthday.”

There were six shows scheduled at the planetarium, but because so many people were interested in the shows that some had to be turned away, the staff at the McAuliffe Center decided at the last minute to add a seventh show.

The Green Team, the Chemistry Club and a number of faculty members were present to offer scientific lessons to those in the crowd.

Everyone at the festival worked on a volunteer basis, and the event was funded on a “shoestring budget,” Porro said, but the festival’s success was possible because of the passion of the volunteers.

“I’m absolutely convinced,” Porro said, “that the reason the event was so successful was the passion people  brought to their work. People spent time at the tables because they were engaged.”

She said some of the presenters were so involved in what they were doing at their tables that they forgot to take a break and eat lunch.

Porro said she will definitely be working on a festival for next year, and sandwiches may be provided so that even if someone forgets to stop for lunch, they’ll have food available.