Cambridge Science Festival - Science in the City


City Hall, 795 Mass Ave

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Jennifer Lawrence


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Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave., Cambridge

Explore all four floors and outdoor areas for hands-on science activities presented by the people who make Cambridge ticking.
Dig deeper into the science that keeps….
• 911 dispatchers hopping
• clean water running
• traffic lights blinking
• compost piling
• recycling sorting
• urban rain gardens growing
• solar power shining
• public safety patrolling
• ….and so much more!

Lecture & Workshop Schedule

2:00PM: Sullivan Chambers

Q&A with the Public Safety group! Ask representatives from the Cambridge Police, Fire and Emergency Communications Departments about the science behind the work they do.

2:30PM: Sullivan Chambers

Cambridge Energy Alliance: Solar Energy: Solar is the most affordable electricity you can buy and it’s not just for homeowners! Learn more about all the ways to get solar: from installing at your building, leasing your roof to community solar projects, solar sharing with your neighbors or joining the Cambridge Community Electricity Program’s 100% Green Plus.

3PM: Sullivan Chambers

Climate Change Preparedness & Resiliency: The Port: Climate change means the future environment of Cambridge will shift to new averages and extremes for temperature, precipitation, and sea levels. Find out what the future might bring and what the City, residents, and the private sector are doing and can do.

3PM: Mayor's Lounge

Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities Film Showing: Unrest.

Jennifer Brea is about to marry the love of her life when she’s struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her “it’s all in her head,” she turns her camera on herself and her community as she looks for answers and fights for a cure.

3:30PM: Sullivan Chambers

Glocal Challenge Winners pitch their ideas

4:15PM: Sullivan Chambers

Cambridge Energy Alliance: Energy efficiency: The cheapest and most environmentally friendly energy is the energy you don’t waste! Learn more about how your home can be more comfortable and have lower utility bills. Tips and free energy efficiency programs for homeowners, business owners, renters, kids and everyone in between.

4:45PM: Sullivan Chambers

Cambridge Energy Alliance: Renewable thermal: Clean and green heating and cooling! Learn about why your next furnace or hot water heater should be an air-source heat pump or a solar hot water system. These technologies help you kick fossil fuels out of your home and can save you money too.

5PM: Mayor's Lounge

Commission for Persons with Disabilities Presentation on Service Animals

5:15PM: Sullivan Chambers

Vanessa Till Hooper is the founder and creative director of a local design practice, Studio HHH specializing in light-based artworks that are engaging, interactive, and often immersive. She will be speaking about their project Windscape installed at the lawn of Cambridge City Hall from April 12 - 21, 2019. She will be talking about how they are working on issues of sustainability in their portfolio of work. Emily Castro, the project manager for Windscape, will give a demonstration on how the parts and pieces were assembled to make each energy generating pinwheel in the installation.

2PM to 6PM: Front Lawn

Urban Cycling Basics Workshops!

  • Finding the right kind of bike
  • Route planning
  • Safety equipment, including lights and a helmet
  • Locking properly
  • Transporting small loads or children by bike
  • Multi-modal commuting
  • Rules of the road and safety tips.
  • All participants in the bike workshops get a free helmet!

Visit for full details!
Cost: Free. Everyone Welcome!


  • Commission for Persons with Disabilities
  • STEAM Initiative
  • Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative
  • Climate Change Preparedness in The Port project
  • Cambridge GIS
  • Water Department
  • Department of Public Works Recycling Division
  • Department of Public Works Stormwater Management
  • Conservation Commission & Public Health Department
  • Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department
  • Environmental and Transportation Planning Division
  • Cambridge Public Library
  • Cambridge Open Data
  • Public Safety (Police, K-9 Unit, 911, Pro EMS, Animal Control)
  • Cambridge Energy Alliance
  • Community Development Housing Division
  • Glocal Challenge
  • And of course….BIG TRUCKS!


Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative

Science and Literacy at Home Doing science activities together with your children can help build their literacy skills too! Come join us for two activities that you can do here and at home:
* Building Towers: Can you use these household materials to build a tower to hold up a tennis ball? A baseball? A stack of books? How tall can you make your tower before it falls over?
* Colorful Creations: Use your imagination and science skills to turn coffee filters, markers and water into a colorful creature!

Cambridge GIS

Create a Cambridge Map

Cambridge Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will provide the map layers and you use them to make a map of Cambridge. Learn how simple data can be combined to make a map showing neighborhoods, parks, water bodies, and more!

Cambridge Water Department

Have a fresh pour of Fresh Pond!

Did you know that Cambridge has a reservoir and waterworks system separate from Greater Boston? Find out what it takes to protect the reservoir and how we go from natural water to high-quality drinking water with the Cambridge Water Department.

Mystic River Watershed Association

Stormwater Pollution – An Urban Threat to People and Wildlife: Find out how stormwater washes pollutants into our rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, impacting water quality. Fresh, clean water is important to birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, plants and people. Discover what can you do to help reduce pollution.

City of Cambridge Department of Public Works Stormwater Division

What happens to stormwater after it rains or snow melts? Come learn about watersheds, where stormwater goes and what rides along through the use of the EnviroScape interactive model. Enviroscape dramatically demonstrates water pollution -- and its prevention and how a watershed works. EnviroScape programs communicate to people of all ages that we share responsibilities in preventing water pollution.

Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation

The Science of Traffic Signals

Join TP+T for a hands-on learning experience about how we use traffic signals to help you stay safe when moving around the city. We’ll show you the insides of a traffic signal, let you simulate signal timing for any intersection in Cambridge, and educate you about what you can do to help us reach our Vision Zero goals. Complete a Vision Zero word search and we’ll reward you with a (little) traffic signal of your own.

City of Cambridge Department of Public Works (Official) Recycling Division

Trash or Treasure? Discover all the things we can give a second life by recycling or composting in Cambridge.

Community Development Department Environmental and Transportation Planning Division

Glocal Challenge & Communicating Climate Change!

Come and listen to our youth entrepreneurs and interns pitch their ideas for how to communicate the realities of climate change in Cambridge. Give them your feedback, ideas, and innovations and help them towards implementation their projects this summer.

Community Development Department Housing Division

Build a City Block! What does residential density look like? Want to see more affordable housing in Cambridge? Using an interactive game called Cambridge Streets, participants can design a city block to visualize different considerations and trade-offs when building different types of housing, creating open space and transportation options for all users.

Cambridge Public Library

Extended Reality with the Cambridge Public Library: Experience Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and a 3D "Photo Booth" -- all part of the CPL's new STEAM Initiative.

Cambridge Open Data

Embark on a data scavenger hunt!

Data informs nearly everything we do in the City of Cambridge. Join us for a scavenger hunt through Cambridge's open data portal. Learn how to find data about the environment, traffic, housing, and all the other topics at the science fair!

Cambridge STEAM Initiative

Sink or Float? Why do some things sink and others float? What happens when we encourage young children to ask questions and explore their ideas? Join the Cambridge STEAM Initiative for a science exploration activity designed for Preschool through Kindergarten learners. Sink or Float is a fun and engaging learning activity developed by the Cambridge STEAM Initiative at DHSP as part of the STEAM@Home project.

Cambridge Energy Alliance

Ride the energy efficiency bike and see energy efficiency in action, spin the wheel of energy and answer trivia questions about climate change and energy, learn more about making your home more efficient and run on renewable energy!

Cambridge Arts

Explore the science behind Sidewalk Poetry in Cambridge with a hands on printmaking activity.

Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Learn more about the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Public Safety (Cambridge Police Department, 911, Cambridge MA Fire Department, Pro EMS, Animal Control)

How would you like to meet Officers, firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers, participate in demonstrations, learn about the newest public safety equipment, try on gear, and receive free swag? As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge Public Safety Agencies will once again be hosting the popular and FREE “The Science Behind Public Safety” event. Children, families and other participants will have an opportunity to meet and hear from representatives from the Cambridge Police, Fire, Emergency Communications, Animal Control, Pro EMS and State 911.

Public Health Department & Conservation Commission

The Cambridge Urban Agriculture Task Force, a work group of the Food and Fitness Policy Council, will present a report that looks at Cambridge’s urban agriculture policy through a health lens. Stop by and learn about the Cambridge Urban Agriculture Policy Initiative, the benefits of urban agriculture, and how to get started with gardening and beekeeping in the city.

Studio HHH

Windscape is a temporary installation located on the lawn at Cambridge City Hall that showcases the beauty of wind and the power of wind to generate energy. The installation is comprised of 100 oversized pinwheels that when activated by the wind, light up their stems with vibrant colored light, forming a topographical immersive garden. The intent of this installation is to bring attention to the growing urgency to harness wind as a power supply, while presenting a visual metaphor that describes wind energy as accessibility to all people. This wind-powered artwork will be on display April 12 - 21, 2019. Designed, built, and installed by Studio HHH for Cambridge Science Festival, with support by The Artisans Asylum.


For more information

For more information, contact Jennifer Lawrence at For updates, visit our Facebook Event

Page was posted on 3/7/2019 5:34 PM
Page was last modified on 2/4/2020 11:58 AM
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