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University connections bring big buzz to Beakerhead

Faculty, students and alumni feature prominently at this year's science, technology, engineering and arts festival
August 26, 2015
More than a dozen of the more than 60 Beakerhead events are led by university faculty, students and alumni. On Sept. 17, BionicOpter, take in a lunch demo of a flying robotic dragonfly created by German automation company Festo.

More than a dozen of the more than 60 Beakerhead events are led by university faculty, students and alumni. On Sept. 17, BionicOpter, take in a lunch demo of a flying robotic dragonfly created by German automation company Festo. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary 

The Arctic Institute of North America is hosting an event at the Rothney Astronomical Observatory in Priddis for Beakerhead. Photo courtesy of Beakerhead

The Arctic Institute of North America is hosting an event at the Rothney Astronomical Observatory in Priddis for Beakerhead. Photo courtesy of Beakerhead

Beakerhead originally started at the university within the Schulich School of Engineering. The community event celebrates the combination of science and art as part of everyday life.

Beakerhead originally started at the university within the Schulich School of Engineering. The community event celebrates the combination of science and art as part of everyday life. 

As Beakerhead hits the ground the running for its third year, the University of Calgary will be running right along with it. The university is once again a sponsor of the mash-up of science, technology, engineering and art.

Originally incubated at the university within the Schulich School of Engineering, Beakerhead is a creative initiative that celebrates the combination of science and art as a part of everyday life. This made-in-Calgary event has garnered headlines around the world, and has many new installations in store for 2015.

The 2015 edition includes the university’s energy and creativity coming from almost every corner of the campus. More than a dozen of the 60 or so events are led by university faculty members, students and alumni.  

On top of that, university students are getting research experience working with the Chair in Science Education at the Werklund School of Education, engineering students from the Schulich School of Engineering are getting first-person inspiration from a German automation firm Festo, and alumni from almost every faculty are infused throughout Beakerhead events as a whole. The Mass Gathering Medicine students are also volunteering their medical expertise on Beakernight on Saturday and at the catapult competition on Sunday. This rich infusion of student and faculty experiences is evidence of hands-on learning and community connection in action.

If you are not already involved, think about joining a volunteer crew. All hands on deck are welcome. Taking in an event or program? Check out the events with a campus connection, below, or read more on the university's Community Engagement website.   

EVENTS ON CAMPUS

Late Night Labs  
Three hours, six stops and probably the most memorable hands-on tour you’ll ever take across several science labs. Start at Container Bar at 1131 Kensington Rd. N.W. and head up to some adventurous labs at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Science, Schulich School of Engineering, and Cumming School of Medicine. Price includes shuttle bus, boxed gourmet dinner, dessert (made by you) and tour souvenirs. The tour ends with a beverage in a bioluminescent lounge. (18+)
Sept. 17, 5:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. (two departures)

Bionic Fliers
You don’t have to know anything about engineering to admire BionicOpter, a beautiful flying robotic creature. If you do know a thing or two about engineering, you’ll be gobsmacked. Take in a lunchtime demonstration of a flying robotic dragonfly from the masterful German automation company Festo. Presented by the Schulich School of Engineering.  
Sept. 17, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., University of Calgary Taylor Family Digital Library Atrium

The Science of Leadership
What are the scientific secrets of leadership? Discover the business, marketing and psychology traits that scientists are seeing among young emerging leaders. Then, figure out how to harness them and put them to use in hands-on scenarios. Hosted by the Werklund Youth Leadership Centre, this workshop is recommended for ages 14 to 16. Free, register online.
Sept. 19, 11 a.m. – noon, Werklund Youth Leadership Centre, University of Calgary Education Tower, EDT 146

Inuit Astronomy
Celebrate the beauty of the Arctic sky through an exploration of space science and Inuit lore led by John Macdonald. Stay late to enjoy a close-up view of the night sky through telescopes. Hosted by the Arctic Institute of North America
Sept. 18, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (night sky viewing until 11 p.m.); Rothney Astronomical Observatory, Priddis

Campus Collisions
Libraries and Cultural Resources will be hosting a number of “Campus Collisions” over the course of Beakerhead, which are free to the public and based in the Taylor Family Digital Library.

EVENTS FEATURING UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND STUDENTS

Bridge: Mobile Art Performances
You may be lucky enough to encounter one of three mobile works of art, conceived and performed by graduate students and faculty members from the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts and Department of Art. Chance upon a three-person mobile audio unit moving through the crowds in downtown Calgary, a performance troupe riding the CTrain between campus and City Hall, or high-speed Internet collaborations between downtown and the campus. 

Engineered Eats
Dining is a whole new experimental experience when chefs and bartenders become scientists. Paul Gordon, University of Calgary researcher from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, has recruited 24 restaurants to ensure that Beakerhead attendees have something to eat and drink that’s as creative as the art they are taking in. This year’s modernist cuisine has been curated around the theme of eggs. Diners can enjoy unexpected treats such as drinks that change from blue to pink, fried foams, and elegantly “repackaged” eggs.

Four-to-six
The Biological Sciences Graduate Student’s Association presents “Petri Dish Picasso” from Sept. 16-18 during Four-to-Six on Stephen Avenue Walk. The results of this interactive artwork made by painting with bacteria will be exhibited in the Sunalta Community Association on Sept. 19 during Beakernight.

Taste
Combining the best of local cuisine with intimate storytelling and the latest in scientific and performance research, Taste is a tongue-tingling and palate-expanding experience for the adventurous food-lover. Presented by Ghost River Theatre, in collaboration with Vertical City Performance, Taste is the second installment in the Six Senses Performances Series, a show designed to explore the theatrical potential of our senses. This workshop event will be performed at Calgary’s renowned River Café. Taste is presented with the support of the Faculty of Arts. (18+)
Sept. 17, 18 and 20, 8:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. (two seatings), The River Café, 25 Prince’s Island Park

Experiments from the Radius
Did you know there are 27 bones in your hand and wrist? Get a glimpse of your body’s mechanics and how those affect the mechanical design of machines such as motorcycles. Check out your skeletal design, and then design a wrist accessory to adorn it! Scan, map, measure and craft an intentionally designed wearable wrist apparatus out of leather, vintage fabric, linen or wood veneer. Your creation will integrate simple circuitry and signal your unique story. This event is hosted by Torch Motorcycles, with help from Schulich School of Engineering students. Free, register online.
Sept. 17, 6–10 p.m., Tigerstedt Block, 906 Centre St. S.W.

Bionic Flier at the Calgary Zoo
You probably look to nature for creative inspiration without even being aware of it. But we’re not talking about colour and beauty here — we’re talking about creative problem-solving. In engineering, it’s called biomimicry. Join Beakerhead at the Calgary Zoo to see the world masters at biomicry, the automation firm Festo Canada. The Enmax Conservatory will play host to gorgeous robotic flying creatures and their engineers. Presented by the Schulich School of Engineering.
Sept. 18, 2-3 p.m., Calgary Zoo, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E.

The Extinction Therapist
Clem Martini’s new script, The Extinction Therapist, takes a lighthearted look at what it is like for species that are facing extinction. Join this staged reading of the script, directed by faculty member Patrick Finn along with professional performers and university students in both on-stage and off-stage roles. Presented in collaboration with Alberta Playwrights’ Network, this reading asserts that a story is the most efficient form of information technology yet devised — and a powerful tool for education. Free, register online.
Sept. 18, 7–8:30 p.m., John Fluevog Shoes Peanut Gallery, 207 8 Ave. S.W.

Beakernight
Four blocks of 10 Avenue southwest will be closed to traffic for a massive outdoor gallery of art and engineering, including fire-spitting skee-ball, large-scale 3D projections, interactive works, performances and experiences. Forty young women in the Cybermentor program will take to the streets with their bioluminescent jellyfish umbrellas as part of the spectacle. Beakernight was created in partnership with dozens of local and international partners, including Jason Johnson and environmental design students, Schulich grads, and many more.
Sept. 19, 8–11:30 p.m., 10 Ave. S.W., between 14 St. and 18 St. S.W.

Chemistry of the Perfect Cup
How do you make a cup of excellent coffee? The Phil and Sebastian team will distill this process and explore the science behind brewing coffee. Various techniques and instruments will be put to use to understand the engineering behind the coffee bean. Both Phil and Sebastian are Schulich School of Engineering graduates. (Tickets $50)
Sept. 20, 10–11 a.m., Phil and Sebastian’s Lab, Simmons Building, East Village

In/Flux
It turns out that mushrooms belong in more than our salads — they also serve as excellent packing material. Visit a truly interactive public art installation by architects and university alumni Vlad Amiot and Spencer Cutten. Bonus: the 10,000 fungi blocks are compostable. The blocks come from Ecovative Design, identified by Fast Company in 2015 as one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Dedicated to Social Good. This is a Beakerhead for a Better World project, presented in partnership with Trico Charitable Foundation.
Sept. 16–20, 11 St. and Kensington Rd. N.W.