Science Research Volunteers at Festival

By Charlynn Trish Ben ’15 & Mohammed Hasan ’15

 

Understanding, visualizing and noticing the innovations of science are all demonstrated to the public at a yearly event known as the World Science Festival (WSF). Held annually in New York City, the festival is a chance to learn more about science in a creative and hands on environment that shows science concepts in a new light.

“The World Science Festival is different than other events because it brings science closer to the everyday people,” said Raymond Yu ’15. “It helps encourage young children to learn and be curious.”

This event is held in places across the city ranging from NYU to Pier 5. The World Science Festival’s mission statement is to “cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value and prepare to engage with it’s implications for the future.” The festival allows people to bring their families to exciting occasions such as seeing the innovations in technology that will be implemented in the future. Various lectures were given on the NYU campus bringing forth prominent researchers such as Brian Greene, a physics and mathematics professor widely known for his groundbreaking research on the Superstring theory.

“The World Science Fair’s message, personally coming from Brian Greene, really touched me,” said Hussain Bokhari ’15. “In all seriousness, the wonders and curiosity associated with science are way too enlightening to be dimmed by low ambition.”

In order to maintain a smooth schedule, the World Science Festival recruits volunteers every year so that the events are opened to the public as soon as possible. Numerous students from the science research classes participated in the volunteering. The application was an online process, which required applicants to create a video in which they were prompted to answer numerous questions that would help the festival officials choose qualified people. Once accepted, all the volunteers were asked to attend orientations that would help to brief them on what was to be expected from them and also to give a sense on how the WSF works in general.

“I thought it would be a great experience to become involved in something that I’m interested in,” said Yukie Wong ’15. “I had a shift as a runner, where I was called down to events that needed extra help. I helped at the book signing event, where popular science authors discussed their books.”

Not only did the volunteers assist with the different programs that were occurring, but they also participated. Volunteers were able to see first-hand new occurrences in science and meet innovators. Many programs included hands on activities such as a hurricane simulator in which people would enter a tube that funneled winds up to 80 mph, recreating what it feels like to be in a hurricane. On Sunday, June 1, people were able to witness robots playing soccer on a playing field. Robots were scattered throughout Washington Square Park, in the grand finale of the festival with the Ultimate Science Street Fair, where people were able to interact with the robots themselves.

“One highlight of volunteering was called Earth and other Worlds,” said Akeem Pinnock ’14. “I got to spend a night in an outdoor inflatable building that was beautifully lit at night. There was also a cool sphere inside that they used to display the planets on.”

The festival ended with a special party for the volunteers who put numerous hours in for the festival to run smoothly. The “wrap party” gave volunteers a chance to enter in raffles to win prizes. Many of the volunteers enjoyed their time working for the festival and intend on applying again to become volunteers next year.

“Next year I hope to work as a staff member at the World Science Festival,” said Chris Ayala ’14. “I think that the World Science Festival differs from others in that it has all different categories that peaks everyone’s interests and envelops all of New York instead of one specific area.”

 

Senior Arista and Archon leaders Dana Cardali, Richard Jiang, Akeem Pinnock, Robyn Nagourney and Renata Ontman

 

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