From Fossils to Game Boys: Science Saturdays at Yale Get Kids Hooked on Science

Want to know how your Game Boy works? Or how robots learn? How about what fossils can tell us about the Earth’s history?

Want to know how your Game Boy works? Or how robots learn? How about what fossils can tell us about the Earth’s history?

These are some of the questions that students from across the New Haven area will explore during this fall’s Science Saturdays program, which invites kids to hear about some of today’s hottest science topics from Yale faculty during a series of Saturday morning lectures and demonstrations that take place on campus. Science Saturdays are organized by Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of mechanical engineering. This fall’s program will take place October 3, 10 and 17 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Davies Auditorium, 15 Prospect St.

Oct. 3 – Fantastic Fossils
Derek Briggs, director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, will explain how soft-bodied animals are fossilized, how scientists use experiments to discover how they formed, and the unique information they can tell us about the history of life on earth. His talk will be illustrated with examples of fossils from the past 500 million years of history.

Oct. 10 – What Makes Your Game Boy Work: How Electronics Are Evolving
Eugenio Culurciello, associate professor of electrical engineering, will explore the impact of technology on our lives and demonstrate the science that makes it possible. From accessing vast amounts of information at our fingertips and communicating with people all over the world, to playing Game Boy, he will examine how electronics and computers are changing our lives and making them safer, longer and hopefully more enjoyable.

Oct. 17 – Talking to Robots: What Social Robots Teach Us About Human Children
Brian Scassellati, associate professor of computer science, builds robots that learn and develop in similar ways to human children. He will discuss his research on building more intelligent machines and what they can teach us about the nature of human intelligence. He will also examine applications of this technology to diagnosis and treat developmental disorders, including autism.

Science demonstrations take place before the talks begin. The program is free and open to everyone, although the talks are designed for students in seventh grade and above. No registration is required.

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