Have you ever wondered how a small person can have such a big voice? Or, how does an opera singer belt the high notes so easily? Nicholas Perna will answer both of those questions and more in his keynote performance to headline the 10th annual Randolph College Science Festival.
The Science Festival is a series of free events during March that allow the community to discover and celebrate the beauty of science and its connection to many aspects of life. The program, which has something for all ages, has grown significantly since it began in 2009, and continues to add new attractions each year.
This year’s slate of events kicks off with the Pi Run on Wednesday, March 14. The 3.14-mile fun run starts in front of Main Hall at 6 p.m., takes participants down the sidewalks of historic Rivermont Avenue, and ends back at Main Hall. Pre-registration is required at http://randolphscience.org/pi-run-details/, and the first 150 to register will receive a free T-shirt.
The main series of events begins with Perna’s keynote performance on Thursday, March 22. Perna is an assistant professor of music at Mississippi College, where he teaches vocal pedagogy and voice repertoire classes as well as music research and writing. He has garnered international attention for his research on the acoustics of the singing voice, nasality of the singing voice, and laryngeal manipulation in vocal warm-up routine. Perna will also lead an open class Friday, March 23, at 11 a.m. in Nichols Theatre. Since space is limited, pre-registration is required for this class.
For the second year, Vector Space will bring its popular Mini Maker Faire to the Science Festival. The event will take place Sunday, March 25, from 12-4:30 p.m. As part of the slate of family-friendly Sunday Science Activities, the maker faire features hands-on activities and demonstrations, amazing exhibits, locally made products, and a group build project. Activities are designed for children as young as 4 years old, as well as adults.
Randolph will also continue its tradition of inviting a group of alumnae to share their experiences and talk about their careers in the sciences during the Women in Science Panel on Friday, March 23. This year’s panelists include nurse practitioner Melanie Fastabend ’89, physical therapist Karen Godley ’97, and Randolph’s biology lab technician Catherine Khoo ’11. The program begins at 3:30 p.m. in Nichols Theatre. Students and other guests will have the opportunity to meet each panelist prior to the event at a 2:30 p.m. reception and open house at the Center for Student Research.
The Randolph College Science Festival evolved from the popular Science Day, a free program offered to children in grades 3-6, which began in 2005. The popularity of the one-day Science Day, which routinely fills its registration early, led to the creation of an even bigger festival that would allow Randolph to share the beauty, fun, and relevance of science to all ages. The event has now grown to encompass multiple days. Led by the Randolph College Society of Physics Students, the Science Festival features one of the largest groups of student, faculty, and staff volunteers on campus.
“Science Day—the Saturday hands-on events for 3rd-6th graders—was started by Kacey Meaker ’08 in 2005,” said Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor and founder and director of the Science Festival. “I expanded this into a whole weekend of science and math-based hands-on activities starting in 2009, so 2018 is our 10th annual Science Festival. This milestone is celebrated by unprecedented community support, and we are so thankful to all of our sponsors for allowing us to do this. This year we expect an expanded Sunday Maker Faire and Science Exposition due to our partnership with Vector Space.”
Other highlights of the 2018 Science Festival include:
Visit www.randolphscience.org for the full schedule of events or to register for events.