Back in February, Cedar Block events guru (and Milwaukee Record contributor) Brent Gohde put on an all-ages community science fair dubbed Science Strikes Back. With the help of Escuela Verde‘s Joey Zocher, Gohde transformed Cedar Block’s grown-up science fairs of yesteryear into a diverse and community-minded celebration of all things empirical, factual, and scientifically tested. The winner of the fair was a 14-year-old student who studied the impact of murals on activism in the Latinx community. That’s a long way from baking soda volcanoes and tidal wave dioramas.

Now, Science Strikes Back is striking back yet again. Escuela Verde will once again host the fair, this time on February 8, 2018. “Our first Science Strikes Back earlier this year was incredible,” Gohde says. “I wasn’t sure how the students would respond, but I completely underestimated how Escuela Verde prepares and motivates their young leaders. But beyond that, the kids came through with brilliant ideas and hard work that left me inspired, hopeful, and optimistic about the next generation of Milwaukeeans.”

Budding scientists can apply online here until December 31. Entries should adhere to one of the four STEAM categories: science, technology, engineering, art, or math. In a nod to the wild and wooly Cedar Block science fairs of yesteryear, an additional “Weird Science” category will serve as a catch-all for more cheeky and out-there—though still scientific—projects. (Past experiments in this category have explored the relationship between the Nintendo Power Pad and ESP, and asked whether “vegans have a sense of humor.”)

“The community went all out,” Gohde says of last year’s fair, “setting a strong example of how science is applicable in daily life. Adult participants demonstrated a remarkable range of scientific aptitude, from the quirky to the groundbreaking. Did a small business owner research how knitting while watching Frasier can reduce stress? She did. And did NANOGrav, who played a role in the Nobel Prize-winning detection of gravitational waves, occupy a corner room and relay what’s going on at UWM? Holy crap, yes.”

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

In his spare time, Matt Wild enjoys collecting 8-bit Nintendo games (emulation is for creeps) and fondly remembering the time Milwaukee weatherman Vince Condella caused a stir at his Catholic grade school by showing up with an earring. He lives on Milwaukee's East Side.