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Make a discovery at Beloit College

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Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2013 10:00 am

The article originally published Oct. 19, 2013 has been edited for clarity.

What do salad dressing and lava lamps have in common?

Oil and water. These and other fun facts will be featured at the second annual Family Discovery Night, which will take place from 6 - 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Beloit College Center for the Sciences. The college teamed up with Kerry Ingredients and Flavours to host the event that displays different types of sciences and activities for families.

The event is free to the public and allows participants to collect passport stamps at each station they visit.

Kerry donated $20,000 to fund the night that will feature different science experiments families can try like dissecting a sheep’s brain or creating a story through the constellations.

One of the new activities added this year is “The Sky from Scratch” astronomy show led by John Kaufmann, assistant professor of theatre arts at Beloit College.

Katie Johnson, assistant professor of biology, said they wanted to emphasize the link of the creativity of the performing arts to science.

“John is a really amazing theatre performer and professor,” she said. “A lot of what he has done has centered around developing shows for planetariums.”

Johnson said the show will allow audience members to explore different constellations, and learn how they are formed. Two, 25-minute shows will take place at the Wilson Theatre at 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are free, but required to attend the show, and can be picked up at the Center for the Sciences prior to each viewing.

Johnson said last year about 1,000 people attended last year’s event, and they are hoping for more this year. She said the reaction from last year has been very positive.

“The foremost goal is to open our doors and welcome the community on campus and provide an opportunity for kids to learn about different types of sciences,” she said, also adding the event helps Beloit College students as well. “It’s also important for our students because it gives them an opportunity to communicate their knowledge.”

Over 50 Beloit College students helped with the different stations during last year’s event, and Johnson said this year nearly 100 would volunteer.

Michele Caldwell, communications and community relations representative for Kerry Ingredients, said this year will feature a sustainability activity involving water.

Caldwell said the idea for the activity came from one of Kerry’s environmental sustainability pillars. 

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