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Randolph offers free Science + Art Saturdays for high school students

Chem picWhat’s in sunscreen? How does one take the perfect selfie? How is math used to create video games? During Randolph College’s Science + Art Saturdays, high school students will find out the answers to these questions and more during hands-on lab and artistic activities and presentations. The best part? It is all free.

Each session begins at 10 a.m., includes lunch, and is open to any high school student. Laboratory activities are taught by Randolph faculty, and interactive tours and art workshops are taught by staff from the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. Any student who attends four or more science sessions will be recognized as a Randolph College Science Scholar, and any student who attends all four art sessions will be designated a Maier Museum of Art Scholar. Certificates will be awarded during a reception in the spring.

Science + Art Saturdays are an extension of Randolph College’s Central Virginia Science Festival, held in the spring. Peter Sheldon, a physics professor who helped begin both programs, said Science Festival and Science + Art Saturdays are intended to show how science connects to other disciplines and is a part of everyday life.

“The purpose of Science + Art Saturdays is to give high school students genuine, hands-on college experiences,” Sheldon said. “And in addition to our well-known science programs, we have the resources of the Maier Museum of Art at our disposal, so it seemed natural to offer these experiences to students as well.”

The first session of the fall series, “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Fluid Dynamics,” will be held this Saturday, September 3. This program, led by Visiting Professor in Physics Kacey Meaker, will feature several activities exploring fluid mechanics, including drag force, terminal velocity, and the mechanics of flight. Following the session, participants are invited to watch fluid dynamics in action at a Lynchburg Hillcats baseball game at 6:30 p.m. as part of Randolph College Night. Anyone who wears or brings Randolph gear to the game will be charged only $3 admission.

Other sessions this fall include “The Science of Skywatching,” which will have students learning to spot atmospheric phenomena, and “Art and the Environment,” which will feature Randolph’s Organic Garden. Students will learn about professional landscape art and photography.

“High school students from the region should check out the sessions to see what piques their interest, or even better, should try something that they might not even know they are interested in,” Sheldon said.

For a full list of sessions or to register for sessions this fall, please visit

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