Baylor reaches out with Sic ‘Em Science Day

By Sarah Hill

Through the use of demonstrations and interactive activities for all ages, Sic ‘Em Science Day at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum aims to get the Waco community more excited about science. This year’s version of the annual event will be held at the Museum on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re introducing the community to scientists and creating a spark so families and individuals can be excited about a new topic. We’re also introducing the community to Baylor and Baylor research,” said Rebecca Nall, assistant director of exhibits, communication and visitor services.

In addition to Baylor science students presenting their projects, Nall said a number of Baylor professors are involved, including Dr. Jason Pitts and Patrick Ortiz from biology, Dr. Eva Kostadinova from Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research, and Dr. Dan Peppe from geosciences.

The museum studies department in the College of Arts & Sciences is housed in the Mayborn Museum Complex, and visitors will be able to take part in activities presented by 16 museum science students. Activities will also be presented by five groups from Portal to the Public, a collaboration between the Museum and Baylor science departments to inform the community about Baylor research.

“One of our missions with Portal to the Public is to show everyone that science is an attainable career. So for them to be able to come and have relaxed conversations with people doing advanced science at the university is really important” said Sarah Miller, volunteer engagement coordinator. She said that visitors will also be able to tour the Mayborn’s new Backyard Ecology Hall, which opens Oct. 5.

One of the most popular events at Sic ‘Em Science Day, the Chemistry Magic Show, will be held at 3 p.m., but may be canceled in the event of inclement weather.

This year, Sic ‘Em Science Day has partnered with the local education group Transformation Waco to invite elementary schools to engage in scientific activities with their families. Baylor’s Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research will also be present, and visitors will be invited to become citizen scientists and test local water quality. Data will then be collected and sent to a national database.

“I think it’s a really good thing for kids to have fun with science,” said Sherry Dettay, volunteer engagement manager. “I also think that it’s become a tradition, we’ve seen this grow over time.”

While Sic ‘Em Science Day is geared primarily toward families, there are opportunities for all age groups.

“It’s not just for children. We also added this year an adult lecture in the middle of the day for adult audiences,” Miller said. She added that with such a wide variety of activities available, she is expecting hundreds of Museum fans to show up for Sic ‘Em Science Day.

Sic ‘Em Science participants must pay regular Museum admission. Baylor University students and Museum members receive free admission. For more information, call (254) 710-1110.

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