Zombies, bugs and other weirdness at Festival

The Franklin Institute is the oldest organization in the country devoted to the study and promotion of mechanical arts and applied sciences. —PHOTO R. KENNEDY FOR GPTMC

More than 100 community partners are participating in the 3rd annual Philadelphia Science Festival, which is sponsored by Dow Chemical Co. and runs April 18-28. Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld, The Please Touch Museum, Riverbend Environmental Education Center, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center at Temple University and The Franklin Institute are all encouraging aspiring scientists to participate.

For example, Beth Beverly, billed as the city’s preeminent “rogue taxidermist” who made her national television debut February on AMC’s “Immortalized,” will headline one of this year’s most-anticipated programs, “Skinned, Stuffed and Mounted: Taxidermy Exposed.” Along with other experts, including “The Breathless Zoo” author Rachel Poliquin, the April 21 event will feature live demonstrations and in-depth discussions at The Wagner Free Institute of Science.

“There will be something for every interest and every taste, whether you’re into taxidermy, tacos or transistors,” said Steve Snyder, vice president of exhibit and program development for The Franklin Institute, the lead organizer behind the third annual Festival. “There are more than 100 collaborative programs taking place this year, and more than two-thirds of them are free. Sure, there are more traditional topics – although they’re presented in new and unusual ways through unique collaborations. But we also focused on more main-stream concepts and irreverent, somewhat quirky topics, too.”

Some weird, quirky and downright odd programming highlights include “The Morgue the Merrier: The Science of the Living Dead” at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Zombie-lovers and novice gumshoes alike will be able to satisfy their quirky appetite with a body part scavenger hunt and “zombie autopsy” followed by appropriately themed refreshments and hands-on activities. And Morris Arboretum has teamed up with their local Iron Hill Brewery in Chestnut Hill to offer “Bugs-A-Brewing.” In celebration of the upcoming exhibit, “David Rogers’ Big Bugs,” the Arboretum will be discussing how some tiny creatures threaten our trees and plants while others are beneficial and should be protected.

A complete list of Festival events is available at PhilaScienceFestival.org.


Contact Tribune Staff Writer Bobbi Booker at (215) 893-5749 or bbooker@phillytrib.com.

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