By MICHAELA RITCHIE
Science, art, engineering — at times it can seem nearly impossible to reconcile these three fields of experimentation. But from September 13 to 17, these industries will combine forces in Calgary to put on a citywide spectacle that is sure to delight the inventor in all of us.
Beakerhead creators know that the worlds of science and technology can be difficult for many to dive into. That’s why the festival encourages engagement with these fields through a variety of artfully engineered displays and interactive labs throughout Calgary — merging seriously cool science with music, food, and even fire shows to synthesize the perfect fusion of entertainment and education.
Attendees are invited to try out some Engineered Eats at restaurants across the downtown core, test your nose at the Scent Bar, Butcher This Anatomy Class, and witness the majesty of a gigantic fire-breathing Serpent Mother. In the interest of keeping education accessible, admission to most Beakerhead events is free, but others — the Science of Cats and Dogs, Inked: The Science of Tattoos, and The Time Traveler’s Agenda, for example — do require ticket purchase to partake.
Entering its fifth year of boundary-shattering scientific exploration, Beakerhead is also celebrating another milestone birthday this year: Canada 150! In a toast to another century and a half of innovation, the exhibits in this year’s free Snakes and Ladders segment will all center around one core theme: the ups and downs of invention — including Canada’s own. Attendees are encouraged to play a round on the gigantic Claw machine, bounce up and down on the glowing Impulse teeter-totters, make music on the water with Bowwave, spin a tale with Loop, and much more as they wind through the city following this live-action boardgame route.
The festival will also showcase works from great minds across the country this year, including First Nations groups, who will lend their knowledge to such exhibits as Skybeings, the Seven Wonderers, and Cooking in the Arctic. Other exhibits this year come from as far away as Montreal, San Francisco, and Mars!
For more information, visit Beakerhead online at www.beakerhead.com, call 587-351-7787, or browse the festival program guide below for more details.