I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I actually had relatively little science exposure. I wasn't one of those kids who won prizes at the science fair, because I didn't have scientist parents to lend me their labs (I did something totally lame with daffodils). I got my main exposure when I went to something called Nature Camp (I had had bad experiences with regular camp, and this one promised classes! Classes were something I could do). I was a kid, interested in nature, and IT. WAS. AWESOME. Seriously. That camp became the best two weeks out of every single summer until I graduated. By the time I finished the first year (we took classes and I "majored" in entomology, because BUGS), I was a full blown science nerd. And all it took was a little exposure.
And a bunch of us would like to bring a little bit of that exposure to GeekGirlCon! We got a table accepted to give attendees a taste of DIY SCIENCE!
We will run the zone all day Saturday, October 19th (day #1 of GGC) and half the day on Sunday, October 20th (day #2). Who is "we"? To name but a few...
- Dr. Marie Villarba
- Dr. Charity Lovitt
The DIY Science Zone will be in a high-traffic area of GGC, which is at the Washington State Convention Center. We've picked activities well-suited for (1) a variety of ages, (2) are affordable when scaled up to large audiences, (3) can be done mostly with household ingredients, and (4) with low messiness factors. What will the zone offer?
- DNA extraction made easy!
- Are you bitter? A genetic taste test.
- Magic breath! Acid-base chemistry of the body.
- CSI: GGC! Finding latent prints using ninhydrin.
- Coffee ground fossils! Perfect for Seattle.
- Neuron know-how! Build your own & learn how they work.
- Slime-to-go! Make your own bag of goo.
- Making craters! Please bring your own sound effects.
- Dancing raisins! No choreography skills required.
- Nature notebooks! A mix of art & nature.
Some of these projects will be scheduled, while others are drop-in activities. All scheduled activities will occur several times during the operation of the zone, giving GGC attendees plenty of opportunities to experiment in the zone!
Awesome RIGHT?! I am hoping to run the build your own neuron station. Fun for every age and you take home your own neuron! We're already assured an attendence of awesome geek ladies, and we want to give them a little science to take home!
But...first we need to get there. And pay for it. This is, obviously, not any of our real time jobs, and in the case of some of us...$$$ is what's standing between us and GeekGirlCon. Can you help us out?!
What will your cash be spent on?
- Zone supplies (activity ingredients, tarps, cleaning supplies, etc.)
- Zone advertising (banners, flyers, posters, etc.) - being in a high traffic area helps, but we'll still need to advertise around the con!
- Two-day GGC badges for zone workers
- Two hotel rooms for zone workers within a short walking distance of the con
- Airfare assistance to zone workers needed financial help
How much are we looking to raise? $5000-$6000. Items #4 and #5 are the biggest expenses and here's why that money is worth it...
WHY is the money worth it? Because we are willing to make complete asses of ourselves to get the science to the people! Here's what we'll do:
What are we willing to do to get your money? Acts of whimsy for each fundraising milestone reached!
@Chemjobber is known for his ceramic duck, which is his Twitter avatar. If $300 is raised, he will change his duck's hat (and outfit?) by popular demand, no matter how silly. If we reach $750, he will answer with "Quack!" at GGC whenever someone says, "Hey, CJ!"
My feelings about Nickelback are well-known.
For every $500 raised, I will listen to a different Nickelback album. Surprisingly, there appear to be 7 Nickelback albums. Just how will I prove I've listened to each album? Google Hangouts On Air! @DNLee5 will join me as she loves Nickelback. UPDATE: @docfreeride is strongly advises against Nickelback consumption and will donate to have me NOT listen to Nickelback. Mark your donation "NO NB" and you might be able to save me! It'll take "NO NB" funds equal $500 to save me from each album.
- If Nature Publishing Group (NPG) donates $500, we'll stage a dramatic reading of a paper in Nature Methods. WITH PROPS.
- When we reach $1000, we will bust out in song! We'll do a group sing-a-long video via Google Hangouts On Air and you'll be able to vote on which song we 'll sing! My vote is for Don't Stop Believin' by Journey.
- What happens when you Mad Libs somebody's thesis abstract?! Hi-Lar-Ity! We'll take to Google Hangouts On Air, where @NoisyAstromer will lead us in this game of nouns, verbs, and adverbs. We'll make this happen for every $1000 we raise - using our own abstracts!
- Will we sell-out to corporations? You know it! If you're a business and you donate $1000, we'll drop product placements in all Google Hangouts On Airs and videos. Say you're the American Chemical Society... I will personally wear your t-shirt, while drinking from your coffee mug, all while using your pen to play cowbell in our music videos. The more money you donate, the more product placement! NOTE: we're scientists, so no quack products will be featured and we're got to keep it clean, so no NSFW.
- Not a corporation, but able to donate a lump sum of $500 or more? @Lalsox will knit you a set of personalized zombie dolls (see below)! Limited to five sets.
- When we've raised $1500, @Scicurious will write a science version of a pop song and @DrMRFrancis will perform it! I'll accompany with cowbell!
- Wouldn't you want to see @Seelix's cat dressed-up as each of The Avengers? When we hit $2000, The Catavengers will happen!
- For $2500, @DNLee5 will do a terrible re-enactment of @SamuelLJackson's demise in Deep Blue Sea with the help of me and @Lalsox at GGC. We're confident our shark will actually look better than the one in the movie...
- Sock puppets performing a (much shorter!) re-enactment of Prometheus, corrected for science and common sense? YES! The budget of Prometheus was about ~$130 million, but @Sargent will stage Sockmetheus if we raise a mere $3000!
- If we reach $4000, we'll do a 5 minute (or less!) re-enactment of a movie at GGC and upload it to YouTube. We'll use a reader poll to select the movie! I suspect we'll be horribly acting our way through some Nicholas Sparks adaptation...
- When we've raised $5000, we'll dance a jig. Seriously, a jig. And yes, we'll be dancing it badly.
- We'll faint if we raise $6000. Probably onto fainting couches, of course. A few of us won't just faint, we'll do a Leyomi Drop.
Yes. If we raise enough, I will compose you a science song! Haven't you always wanted one!? For you, I will listed to Miley Cyrus or Gotye, or something else, and you will hear the sweet strains of "Fund Me Maybe." You know this is what you want.
And also, there's the opportunity to torture Dr. Rubidium with Nickleback. Heck, I'm donating to that one. >:)