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2019 Big Bang Science Fair at WaterFire Providence

Join us on Saturday, September 28, 2019, for the “Big Bang Science Fair” at WaterFire Providence. The event celebrates the intersections between science and the arts. We invite kids and adults of all ages to participate in the free, hands-on activities and discover science in our daily lives. For one exciting day, famous scientists team up with musicians, programmers, mathematicians, physicians, artists, and chefs to explore the wonders of science. Do not miss our fascinating speakers, and meet the researchers working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. Stargaze with local astronomers! Blend science with art at RIMOSA! Experience the wonders of the brain! Design your own circuitry and code robots! Interact with Math+Art artists and their work! View a virtual “Living Heart”! Take a selfie in the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider! See invisible particles which penetrate the earth! Get a hug from the Brown bear!


The Big Bang Science Fair starts at 4:00 pm with presentations in RISD auditorium and workshops in Market Square (4 North Main Street). Hands-on-activities in Market Square (4 North Main Street), College Street, and ICERM start at 5:00 pm. Hack401 activities start at 1:00 pm at 30 Exchange Terrace 1st Floor.

For any inquiries, contact:

Professor Meenakshi Narain, Event Coordinator

Pete Bilderback, Communications

Scheduled Talks | Hands-On Workshops | Walk-Up Activities | Math+ArtHack 401 | Sponsors | Event Organizers


The lectures will run on the hour for 30-40 minute durations.
All talks will be held in the RISD Auditorium: 7 Canal Walk, Providence RI
For priority seating, please reserve a seat, free of charge, via Eventbrite.

2019 Lectures

  • 4:00 pm: Dorit Chrysler (Musicologist and Director of the New York Theremin Society) “Lecture and demonstration of the Theremin”
  • 5:00 PM: Dr. Lisa Michaud ( Interactions LLC)  ” Voice Assistants and Conversational AI”
  • 6:00 pm: Prof. John Donoghue​ (Brown University) “Merging Man and Machine to help people with Paralysis”
  • 7:00 pm: Dr. Rebecca Thompson (Fermilab): “Fire, Ice, and Physics: The Science of Game of Thrones
  • 8:00 pm: Dr. Derek Muller (Veritasium​) “How Do We Figure Out What’s True?”
  • 9:00 pm: Jazz Performance: God Particle (Prof. Stephon Alexander, Melvin Gibbs, and guests): “Ogodo Quanta”


The event will be emceed by Don Lincoln (Author and Physicist from Fermilab, America’s leading Particle Physics Lab)

4:00 pm Lecture + Demonstration: Dorit Chrysler (Musicologist and Director of the New York Theremin Society)

You might have come across the strange ghostly sounds – reverberations that might be described as pure science fictionesque. These provocative sounds are drawn from an instrument called the theremin, developed in 1920 by the Russian physicist Lev Termen. Famously, it is one of the only instruments that is played without physically touching it and is considered to be the world’s first mass-produced electronic instrument. What prompted Lev Termen to turn the principle of his invented surveillance system into a revolutionary musical instrument? How does a Theremin work? Come and hear the cautionary tale of a physicist turned electronic music pioneer, whose inventions became steeped in politics and whose life story reads like a spy novel.

5:00 PM Lecture: Dr. Lisa Michaud ( Interactions LLC)  ” Voice Assistants and Conversational AI”

Talking to a computer using normal language used to be the stuff of Star Trek and other science fiction, and now many of us do it every day.  The technology behind making this work involves a type of Artificial Intelligence that is as much an art as a science.  What are the challenges involved in “understanding” human language, and why is that so much harder than understanding a programming language? What are the similarities and differences between voice interactions with Alexa or Siri versus text interactions with a chatbot? And what is the role of the human behind the curtain?

Dr. Lisa Michaud is the Senior Product Manager for the Intelligent Virtual Assistant platform at Interactions LLC.  With more than 20 years of experience in the field of Natural Language Processing, she has established herself as a thought leader in conversational AI technology, challenges, and best practices. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and has been published in multiple international journals, workshops, and conferences in the fields of user-adaptive interaction and Computational Linguistics. 

6:00 pm Lecture: John Donoghue​ (Brown University) “Merging Man and Machine to help people with Paralysis”

The brain is the most complicated structure in the universe. Through our senses, our brain receives a view of the outside world, stores it, changes it, creates moods, feelings and behaviors- a mysterious kind of computing with a mysterious code ‘spoken’ by millions of brain cells. Brain cells called neurons speak to each other through a giant, messy network of connections that is the hardware able to turn your thoughts into actions. When the brain is altered by disease or injury the results can be devastating: paralysis, blindness, depression, epilepsy. But now it is becoming possible to use technology to fix the broken brain. At Brown University researchers have developed BrainGate, a “brain computer interface” (BCI) that uses brain sensors and electronics to reconnect the brain to machines for people how are paralyzed, allowing them once again to communicate through a brain-controlled computer or even to move their own body again through electronic links commanded only by thinking. I’ll show videos of what people with paralysis can do now using BrainGate, how the connection between the mind and machines could develop in the future, and how BCIs might challenge our view of the boundaries between humans and intelligent machines.  ​ Professor Donoghue is a neuroscientist best known for having developed an innovative brain-computer interface to restore movement for people with paralysis. He founded the Brown Institute of Brain Science, Brown University. He also holds an adjunct professorship at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is a visiting professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Professor Donoghue was also a co-founder of an early neurotechnology startup company, Cyberkinetics.

7:00 pm Lecture: Rebecca Thompson (Fermilab): “Fire, Ice, and Physics: The Science of Game of Thrones” 

Game of Thrones is a fantasy that features a lot of made-up science―fabricated climatology (when is winter coming?), astronomy, metallurgy, chemistry, and biology. Most fans of George R. R. Martin’s fantastical world accept it all as part of the magic, but there is a lot of great, real life, science to be found. Could seasons really be wonky? Is dragon fire hot enough to melt stone, or better yet, an Iron Throne? Is it possible to build a wall out of ice? This talk will tackle all these questions and a few more. Come and learn about some dragon fire, ice walls, and physics. Fair warning, spoilers are coming! ​Rebecca C. Thompson, Ph.D., is a physicist and author of the popular Spectra series of comic books about physics. She is Head of the Office of Education and Public Outreach at Fermilab, the particle physics research facility near Chicago. She served as Director of Public Engagement for the American Physical Society from 2008 to 2019.  

8:00 pm Lecture: Derek Muller (Veritasium​) “How Do We Figure Out What’s True?”

In our increasingly complex world, it is often hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Does water really swirl the other way in the Southern Hemisphere? Do you weigh the lightest in the morning? Are trees actually out to get you? These are just a few of the topics I will tackle to illustrate how science searches for truth. Along the way, we’ll uncover our own biases and misconceptions plus principles we can apply in our own lives to avoid being fooled. At its heart, science is the application of rigorous methods to our natural curiosity and investigative instincts. Dr. Derek Muller is the creator of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science with over 6 million subscribers and 650 million views, winner of the Streamy award for Science or Education in 2017. He has hosted award-winning documentaries: Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, Digits, and Vitamania for international broadcast networks. He was also a correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World and a host of the Australian science television program, Catalyst. He has appeared live on stage with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, Space station commander Chris Hadfield, and he co-hosted the 2017 March for Science on the Washington Mall. Muller completed a degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Canada, and a PhD in physics education research at the University of Sydney. The topic of his thesis was ‘Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education’.

9:00 pm Performance: God Particle (Stephon Alexander, Melvin Gibbs, and guests): “Ogodo Quanta”

God Particle, the collaboration between Stephon Alexander and Melvin Gibbs, will perform a new work, “Ogodo Quanta” at the 2019 edition of The Big Bang Science Fair on Saturday, September 28th at WaterFire in Providence, RI. This work is a sonic meditation on the idea of the “Cosmic Fabric”, the interconnected cosmic force. God Particle is dedicated to exploring and expanding on the connection between the ideas of eminent scientists like Albert Einstein and musicians like John Coltrane. Melvin Gibbs is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, a composer and musician who has been called “the World’s greatest bassist” by Time Out New York magazine. His wide-ranging resume includes tutelage by Ornette Coleman, time in the seminal bands Defunkt, the Decoding Society, the Sonny Sharrock Band, and The Rollins Band. Stephon Alexander is a world-renowned scientist who is the current president of the National Society of Black Physicists. He is a theoretical cosmologist who in 2001, drawing on key concepts of string theory, co-authored a new model that may explain the accelerating expansion of the universe, known as “cosmic inflation”.

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WORKSHOPS (limited places)

All 50 mins max. duration. To ensure your spot please order TICKETS through Eventbrite. Tickets may be available at the door 30 minutes before each event as well. Please note the suggested ages for each workshop. Adults welcome to all.

— 4:00-4:45 PM, 5:00-5:45 PM, 6:00-6:45 PM —

Music Programming with Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS program (Market Square, Large Tent)
Hosts: Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS program, CS4RI, and Citizens Bank ​

Ages: 10 and up, adults welcome (10 to 12 to be accompanied by an adult)

4:00-4:45 pm​ Snap! is a broadly inviting visual programming language for children and adults; that’s also a platform for the serious study of computer science.  Participants will learn Snap! through discussion, programming exercises, and exploration. In this workshop, participants will develop an algorithm that generates sounds and turns their keyboard and/ or Makey Makey into a musical instrument. Participants can extend their program by adding visual effects.

5:00-5:45 pm​ Engima Emulator: The ability to secure messages or decipher hidden messages have been pivotal moments throughout history. From the tragic outcome of Queen Mary of Scotland to the hunt of buried treasure with the Beale Papers, deciphering hidden messages has been a delight and frustration for centuries. In this workshop, we will practice our skills of encryption with an Engima Emulator and attempt to crack each other’s hidden messages.

6:00-6:45 pm​ Pong Programming: Pong became the first arcade game to achieve widespread popularity and is credited as the genesis of the modern video game industry. Today, the game has been played, remade, spun-off, and referenced innumerable times and it remains, to many, the single most identifiable and recognizable game in the history of video games. In this workshop learn to program the two-dimensional graphics, minimal sounds, and basic controls. Extend your learning by programming the Makey Makey as your controller.

— 7:00-7:45 PM, 8:00-8:45 PM, 9:00-9:45 PM —

Using ‘Cloud Chambers’ to see the invisible sub-atomic world (Market Square, Large Tent)
Hosts: U.S. CMS & U.S. ATLAS Experiment at CERN, Switzerland

Ages: 8 and up, adults welcome (8 to 12 to be accompanied by an adult)

Our huge Universe is made out of tiny particles that are completely invisible to us, but imagine if we could see them! Cloud chambers are particle detectors that make the paths of these tiny particles visible, allowing us to see the tracks that they leave behind. During this workshop, we will build these very special detectors to discover that the empty space around us is not as empty as we might think!


“HANDS OFF” – How to play the Theremin (RISD Market House Conference Room, 27 Market Square)
Host: Dorit Chrysler, and Prof. Charles Hobbs

Time: 5:20-5:40PM, 5:45-6:05PM, 6:10-6:30PM, 7:00-7:20PM, 7:25-7:45PM, 7:50-8:10 PM, 8:30-8:50PM, Last session 9:00-9:30 PM is open to all – no ticket required.

Ages: 10 and up, adults welcome (10 to 12 to be accompanied by an adult)

The Theremin, an instrument that is played without touch, is still considered mysterious and is mostly known from science fiction soundtracks. Invented in 1920 by the Russian physicist Lev Termen during a period of espionage and surveillance systems, the theremin creates an illusion and deceives the eye: a box equipped with two antennas, this very first electronic instrument functions solely on transforming motion into sound. Experience playing the music without touching anything.

Host: Dorit Chrysler, musicologist, and composer, director of the NY Theremin Society and founder of Kid Cool Theremin School, the first school of Theremin.
Host: Prof. Charles Hobbs, producer of the Hobbs Theremin

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WALK-UP activities begin at 5:00 PM in the Market Square and College Street
Appropriate for all ages!

Hands-on-activities and demonstrations in various spaces and tents around Market Square. Please note the suggested ages for some activities. Adults welcome to all. Activities early on in the afternoon will be geared towards our younger scientists, while activities later in the evening will become more complex.

Tent Frances E. Allen: Computer Science In Action
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Learn about the concepts behind the machines and their importance in current industries. Through several activities, you will get hands-on experience in programming from basics, such as binary to advanced concepts, such as augmented reality in HoloLens.  Come and learn to develop your very own algorithms and abstraction. These workshops will be your gateway to Computer Science.

Hosts: Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS program, CS4RI, & Citizens Bank

Tent Jacquelyn Ford Morie: Robots, Rays, and Realities
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

How do scientists and engineers go to places they can’t? They use robots, measuring instruments and visualization techniques to see the smallest and largest objects in the universe, go where no man can go and all from the comfort of your couch. Bring your smartphone along and we’ll show you how to turn it into a VR viewer with content from Google, NASA’s Chandra Observatory, and R.I. VR content creators.

Explore the high-energy universe with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory!  Learn about X-ray astronomy, write your name in binary, and hold a “dead star” in your hand.  Walkthrough a supernova remnant and stand at the center of our galaxy through virtual reality.
Rogers High School, Newport RI will be demonstrating their aquatic in-water robots and control systems, which have won regional and national awards.  The RHS Robotics Club is sponsored by the Providence Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Hosts: Rhode Island Virtual Reality with IEEE Providence Chapter and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory

Tent Rita Levi Montalcini: Neuroscience in Action!
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Experience the mysteries of the brain and nervous system through a series of hands-on activities and demonstrations. Build your own neuron! Measure electrical responses from the nervous system! Understand the mysteries behind optical illusions! Explore the anatomy of the human brain! And more! Activities early on in the afternoon will be geared towards our younger scientists, while activities later in the evening will become more complex.

Hosts: The Carney Institute of Brain Science (Brown University)

Tent Ada Yonath: Cool Chemistry
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

These enthralling awesome exhibits will capture your attention and spark an enduring interest in science. Get your hands busy with various chemistry tricks that are sure to keep you wanting more! We have got live demonstrations on acid rain and polymers, virtual reality chemistry competitions, levitating balloons, wind tubes, cabbage juice indicators, and more!

Hosts: Brown University, Chemistry Department

Tent Marie Curie: Spectacular Science!
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Spectacular Science!  Hands-on experiments for everyone. Witness strange and amazing phenomena with light, heat, pressure, and some extraordinary materials. Come to explore optical illusions, disappearing beakers, dancing oobleck, swirling patterns, combusting cotton, assorted explosions. Try your hand at the Brazil nut game, exercise your artistic talent at the surface tension paintbox, and test your strength with the Magdeburg spheres.

Hosts: The Science Outreach Team (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Tent Maria Goeppert Mayer: Innovate by merging art with science 
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Awaken your curiosity by interacting with RIMOSA’s hands-on, open-ended exhibits and activities. Zoetrope: Make your own hand-drawn animation! Draw a progression on the strips of paper provided, place it in this Victorian-era spinner and watch them come to life! Sand Table: Experiment with moving colored sand, Shadow and Light: Using an overhead projector, colored film, and objects. Explore shadow sculptures, transparency, and illusion.

Hosts: Rhode Island Museum of Science and Arts (RIMOSA)

Tent Joycelyn Elders​: learn about medicine and science
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Come meet with Brown Physicians Inc., the six foundations and Alpert Medical School.

Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Unbelievable Urology!  Join urologic surgeons to maneuver a scope into the bladder and ureter and travel the waterways of the human body.  Enter into the kidney through a miniaturized opening and try your hand at using the vortex effect to evacuate kidney stones and fix your patient!

Hosts: Brown Physicians Inc. and Alpert Medical School.

Tent Elizabeth Blackwell​: Act like a Physician for an hour
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

5:00-6:00 PM Brown Neurology physicians will be available to administer and interpret Fun Brain Games for adults and children
6:00-7:00 PM Brown Emergency Medicine physicians from the Injury Prevention Center will be on hand answering questions about bike helmet and car seat safety and supervising CPR demos
7:00-8:00 PM Brown Dermatology physicians will be available to answer questions and demonstrate laboratory microscope technology
8:00-9:00 PM University Surgical Associates trauma physicians will focus on an interactive teaching display of their “ Stop the Bleed” program, including Tourniquet kits, practice Dummies and working on volunteers/visitors.

Hosts: Brown Physicians Inc. and Alpert Medical School.

Tent Helen Taussig: Living Heart In Virtual Reality 
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

The Living Heart, developed through Dassault Systèmes’ Living Heart Project, is the first commercial, virtual model of a human heart.  Coupled with a virtual-holographic platform, this Experience provides a glimpse into the future of medicine where cardiovascular experts can explore treatment options, educate their patients, or study the efficacy of new treatments and predict reliability under real-world conditions.

Hosts: Dassault Systèmes, Brown Physicians Inc., and Alpert Medical School

Tent Grace M. Hopper: Robotics and STEAM Demos
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Take part in fun and exciting STEAM demos. Learn how parts of our everyday life—things like air, light, and gravity—can behave in unexpected ways. Experience the wonder and amazement that scientists experience each day while conjuring up crazy research ideas and running elaborate experiments! Be a scientist for a day by getting your hands involved in experiments to play with frozen bubbles, fish for ice, create a sound vortex, watch a resonance bowl, play with Newton’s cradles, FM radio, and more.
Watch the Iron Tigers Robotics Team from Oliver Ames High School in Massachusetts demonstrate their robot that competed all over New England this year!

Hosts: Physical Sciences (Brown University), Iron Tigers Robotics Team

Sidewalk Astronomy
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Get a close look at the planets, stars, and galaxies through powerful telescopes, set up and operated by expert astronomers from Brown University. Learn about telescopes, the planets, and other astronomical topics while seeing the stripes of Jupiter, rings of Saturn, craters of the Moon, and maybe even the spiral arms of Andromeda. We will also have special telescopes set up to look at the details of the Sun’s chromosphere and photosphere before sunset. You will also have the opportunity to learn about other exciting upcoming astronomical events.

Hosts: The Graduate Physics Organization (Brown University)

a-Maze-ing Math
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Learn mathematics through solving mazes. Since ancient times, humans have been preoccupied with mazes and figuring out how to solve them. Come explore the mazes, challenge your combinatorial skills, and let math point you towards the exit.

Hosts: Anand Heintz and Friends (Wheeler School)

Snap a selfie in front of the 100 meter underground LHC Tunnel, CERN, Switzerland. 
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Snap a selfie in front of the 100 meter underground LHC Tunnel, CERN, Switzerland. Time: 3:00 – 11:00 pm Come and snap a selfie or have your picture taken in front of the famous LHC Tunnel, which is located 100 meters under the Jura mountains in Switzerland. Imagine yourself running, with speeds close to the speed of light, and with a close-knit team of 100 billion protons in this 27-kilometer long circular tunnel.

Hosts: U.S. CMS & U.S. ATLAS Experiment CERN, Switzerland and the CMS Experiment team at Brown University.

Science of Cooking 
Time: 5:00 PM-10:00 PM

Let the kitchen be your science laboratory! In this interactive exhibit, taste the principles of physics, engineering, biology, and chemistry. Learn how to think like a chef and a scientist by exploring the scientific concepts in everyday cooking, observe physical and chemical changes in the food. Join us in Market Square to play with our food.

Hosts: Boston University and EZ Compliments

Art@CMS: View some art pieces from CERN in Switzerland and see the art of science and the beauty of creation in Market Square.

Art@CMS is an education and outreach initiative of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. It strives to promote a lasting dialogue between the LHC community, the art world, and educational groups for a greater appreciation and understanding of particle physics research and its contribution to education and society. They have set up school-based projects and art-science collaborations with a common goal: to reach out to new and larger audiences, different to those traditionally addressed by scientific outreach events, by fostering creative synergies between scientists, students, educators, and artists from around the world.

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MATH+ART at ICERM [11th Floor, 121 South Main Street]

Illustrating Mathematics Open House
Time: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM, Free
Tickets (free of charge) are required for entrance to exhibit. Please reserve a ticket via Eventbrite.
Suggested ages: 8 and up, adults welcome (8 to 12 to be accompanied by an adult)

Brown University’s math institute, ICERM, is pleased to host a hands-on open house featuring in-residence “Math+Art” artists and their work. Objects created for mathematical visualization are beautiful and attractive in their own right. ICERM’s fall “Illustrating Mathematics” research conference brings together artists, makers, and mathematicians seeking to harness the creativity of mathematical illustrations to further the public’s understanding of mathematical research. Come engage with these talented artists-in-residence and explore their work. Visualize mathematics through displays of art made using 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing, virtual reality, textiles, carving, painting, video, and more!  Create beautiful geometric patterns from simple lines at the “Patterns:  Parabolas and Polygons – Line Drawing” activity with the American Mathematical Society (AMS).   Mingle in ICERM’s beautiful 11th-floor space along the river and enjoy a sweeping view of Waterfire. Fun for all ages!

This open-house is made possible with grants from the National Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award G-2019-11406.

Each table will have a specific theme with fun and beautiful examples of representative Matb+Art. The themes and table leaders are:

Computational Textiles
Table leader: Sabetta Matsumoto

Sabetta Matsumoto is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She uses differential geometry, knot theory and geometric topology to understand the geometry of materials and their mechanical properties. She is passionate about using textiles, 3D printing and virtual reality to teach geometry and topology to the public.

Help Build “FireStar” Installation
Table leader: Glen Whitney

Glen Whitney is passionate about every part of public mathematics — engagement, appreciation, and informal learning. After graduating from Harvard in 1989, Whitney did his graduate work in mathematical logic at UCLA and received a Ph.D. in 1994. He was on the faculty of the University of Michigan and subsequently became an applied mathematician at the quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies. In 2008, he left Renaissance and founded the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York City. The museum opened its doors to the public in December 2012 and is nearing its millionth visitor. Whitney continues to work on a variety of projects, promoting public mathematics in fresh and innovative ways.

3-dimensional Art
Table leader: Saul Schleimer

Saul Schleimer is a Reader in Mathematics at the University of Warwick (UK).  His research interests include topology — the study of shapes, hyperbolic space — the so-called “non-euclidean geometry”, and group theory — the study of symmetry. He is especially interested in using computers to visualize objects and ideas in these areas.

2-dimensional Art
Table leader: Frank Farris

Frank Farris is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University. He is an award-winning author, artist, and speaker. He uses ideas from advanced mathematics, such as complex analysis and abstract algebra, to transform images of landscapes, flowers, or even his dinner into beautiful repeating designs.

Table leader: John Edmark

John Edmark, a lecturer in Stanford University’s Design Program, employs precise mathematics in the design and fabrication of his work. He does this neither out of a desire to exhibit precision per se, nor to exalt the latest technology, but because the questions he is trying to formulate and answer about spatial relationships can only be addressed with geometrically exacting constructions. Mathematical precision is an essential ally in his goal of achieving clarity.

American Mathematical Society (AMS) Activity Table (hands-on for all ages)
Table leaders: Representatives from the AMS

AMS staff will lead Patterns: Parabolas & Polygons, a line drawing activity. Make and bring home beautiful geometric patterns from simple lines. The AMS, headquartered in Providence, RI, supports the mathematical sciences by providing access to research, professional networking, conferences and events, advocacy, and a connection to a community passionate about mathematics and its relationship to other disciplines and everyday life. Explore a wide range of offerings online.

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hack401 seeks to build awareness of the latest tech, access, and opportunities to learn and make, and create connections in our very active community.

hack401 is made possible through a coalition of partners including Citizens Bank, Institute of Entrepreneurship & Leadership (IEL), Rhode Island Virtual Reality (RIVR), STEAM Box, Tech Collective and Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS. We welcome others to join as sponsors, organizers, volunteers, and workshop leaders.

Hack401 @BigBangScienceFair

hack401 in collaboration with our host, Skills for RI, will produce a hackathon on September 28th. Students will learn podcasting and use their skills immediately to interview scientists young and old at the Big Bang Science Fair at Waterfire.

Drop Off:
Skills for RI
30 Exchange Terrace 1st Floor
Providence, RI 02903

Hack401 @BigBangScienceFair Workshop Summaries

Podcast Production in Anchor (basic) (15-25p, BYOTech!)
The podcasting phenomenon has become wildly popular, from shows about comedy and music to serial journalism and sports banter. Fortunately, the barrier to entry for at-home podcasting is quite low! You only need a smartphone, a good internet connection, and a little creativity.
This one-hour workshop will explore podcast creation and publishing using Anchor, a user-friendly podcasting platform. Participants will learn the basic skills of planning a loose script, conducting an interview, arranging a podcast with music and interludes, publishing to the web, and how to collect and use listener feedback. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a web-hosted podcast that they can share with friends and family, and the skills necessary to continue making more podcasts at home.

Multitrack Recording in Soundtrap (15-25p)

This workshop will explore multitrack recording using SoundTrap a collaborative audio workstation. Participants will learn the basics about audio recording (microphones, digital interfaces, signals, volume / gain, panning, mixing) and sequencing (clipping, looping, arranging, editing, layering). These are the basic tools necessary to record your own music, and serves as a great exercise in seeing foundational music technology in action.




Attend! Dedicated to increasing accessibility to STEAM education
This workshop will be open to high school students. You must be at least age 13.
To attend you must sign up on Eventbrite.

Volunteer! The best way to impact a young person’s journey with tech, become a hack401 volunteer
To volunteer at this or future events, please email us at

Know a potential sponsor, volunteer, student? Have an idea for a future workshop or venue? Contact us!

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About the author

Interactive Media Manager at WaterFire Providence | + posts by author

I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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