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'Science Unwrapped:' Sharing Science With The Community

Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Kids gather around an activity station after the lecture to get 'hands on' with science.

A group of scientists at Utah State University has developed a unique way to share their research with the community. Science Unwrapped is a program that teaches the public about science and how scientists learn to interact with the public.

At the event, a diverse crowd of people, ranging from adults to small children, gathered in an auditorium at Utah State University to hear the first lecture in this fall's Science Unwrapped series. This week, USU Professor Johan du Toit spoke about living with large mammals.

Nancy Huntly is director of the Ecology Center at USU. She said the College of Science started the program to share science with the community.

“So we share the kinds of science people do here, with anyone who wants to come. Its open to all ages, it’s free, and we just want people to come, have a good time, learn more about what science is and learn more about scientists," Huntly said. 

After the lecture, parents and kids stepped into a hallway and were greeted by a whole host of ‘after activities’ geared towards different age groups. Children walked around picking up live turtles, looking through microscopes, and watching rubber balls dipped in liquid nitrogen shatter when thrown on the ground. They engaged with scientists of different backgrounds at each activity station, asked questions, touched, smelled and felt.

“Science is one fundamental way about understanding the world," Huntly said. "I think science has been too isolated from the world in recent years. So I think it’s important for scientists to talk to everyone around them about the kind of work they do. Science is accessible to everyone - anyone could be a scientist.”

This fall, Science Unwrapped focuses on Ecology, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Utah State’s Ecology Center. If you and your family want to learn more about Science Unwrapped, visit www.usu.edu/unwrapped.