Scintillating Science

Periodic Table of the Elements cupcakes (Chemical Heritage Foundation)
Scintillating Science Scintillating Science Scintillating Science Scintillating Science

Forget spring, science is in the air! It's everywhere, even on cupcakes (photo courtesy of the Chemical Heritage Foundation).

Science is in our schools - well, OK, it has always been there but is getting a new emphasis (or should I say renewed emphasis) in Colorado schools through the Colorado Department of Education's STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education program designed to help students become better prepared for higher education and life beyond high school.

Science is on TV - the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory is making science cool and the remake of Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, now with the wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson as host, is an informative and highly entertaining series. This may be especially nerdy, but I was so excited to watch The Big Bang episode featuring Brian Greene - I love his books and DVDs for just the reason that character Sheldon derides him - he makes high level math and astrophysics easier to understand for those of us who are not Sheldon-like geniuses. Neil deGrasse Tyson has also appeared on the show, as well - how cool is that?!

Science is part of the hip hop scene - thanks to GZA, a member of the Wu Tang Club and a co-founder of Science Genius, a program he started with Christopher Emdin, an associate professor at Columbia University (FYI - Brian Greene is also a professor at Columbia, I wonder if they know each other?). Their program's aim is to make science fun and interesting for teens by incorporating science into hip hop verse. For a sample of the smart and super-creative raps dreamed up by some of the teens participating in the program check out GZA's TEDxTeen talk. And check out GZA's own science inspired hip hop on his latest album, Dark Matter, scheduled to be released this spring.

Science is in other music, too - Denver Public Library has many CDs by such diverse groups as the Beastie Boys, Incubus, and They Might Be Giants inspired by or involving science. And for a flash from the past (at lease it brings back fond memories of my youth), take a gander at the music video for Thomas Dolby's She Blinded Me With Science, but fair warning, this song gets stuck in my head every time I think of it...

Science is in the performing arts - at least in Boulder. The Dairy Center for the Arts will be running author Dava Sobel's first play, "And the Sun Stood Still" thru April 20th.  The play centers around a visitor to astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus who talks him into publicizing his theory that the Earth revolves around the sun.  According to a review in the Denver Post by Theater Critic Lisa Kennedy, "None other than 'Cosmos' host Neil deGrasse Tyson lists Sobel among his favorite science writers."

Science is on YouTube - or at least the Muppet's version of science. For a little fun, check out the crazy capers of Muppet Labs!

And finally, science is at your Denver Public Library - please browse our Scintillating Science booklist for even more amazing science book suggestions we hope will keep you interested, entertained, engaged, and learning!  Checkout DPL's other booklist choices, too, if science still isn't quite your bag (but I hope you will give it try first).

Let us know what signs of spring, er, I mean, science you may have noticed lately...

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