Wisconsin Science Festival 2014 Call for Proposals


Planning is underway for the fourth annual Wisconsin Science Festival (WSF), to be held October 16–19, 2014, in Madison, around the state and perhaps where you live. The festival will welcome people of all ages to look, listen, feel, touch, taste, discover and unleash their curiosity. Through interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, lectures, demonstrations and conversations with leading researchers and creative thinkers, festival-goers will experience the wonders of the sciences, arts, food, sports and more like never before. This year’s festival will be presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Book Festival. For more information on the Wisconsin Book Festival, visit www.wisconsinbookfestival.org.

If you have a creative idea to connect your Wisconsin event to a celebration of curiosity, this is the place for you!

Building on last year’s festival, which attracted more than 30,000 people from all around Wisconsin and 16 different states, the 2014 festival will again go beyond the expected to explore science through every possible lens, from exploration stations to demonstrations, from music to art, from film to discussion, from food to sports and from nature hikes to craft workshops. The festival will boast hundreds of presenters at locations throughout the state and will connect curious people everywhere to science, creativity and exploration.

How You Can Participate

We seek proposals for engaging activities that explore new ways of thinking, learning, communicating and more. We encourage proposals from colleges, universities, community nonprofits and K–12 schools engaged in the sciences, arts, humanities or creative combinations of any three disciplines. You can submit your new programming ideas or connect your existing programs or events. To be eligible, events must take place between October 16 and 19, 2014. Possibilities include: performances (music, theater, dance, etc.), lectures, workshops (e.g., for teachers, students, general interest), exhibits, demonstrations, discussions, exploration stations or films.

Presentations may range from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the format. Events will be open to the public, and most will be free.

Submit Your Proposal

Applications are due by May 15, 2014. Contributors who submit applications early can benefit from opportunities to be featured on the WSF website, as well as in print materials, social media alerts and news releases related to the event.

To submit a proposal for presentations to be held at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (on the UW–Madison campus), including exploration stations, workshops, lectures, performances and more, visit:

To submit a proposal for presentations taking place in locations other than the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, visit:

Participating organizations will receive marketing materials, templates and appropriate files for reprinting of the WSF logo on signage and programs.

** Preference will be given to events that are free to the public. Events charging fees will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, contact Becky Balistreri at 608-316-4382.

** This call for proposals is limited to nonprofit entities. For-profit entities interested in participating should visit the sponsor page at WiSciFest.org or contact Adam Erdmann at 608-316-4651 or [email protected] for more information.

For all other inquiries, please visit WiSciFest.org or call Becky Balistreri at 608-316-4382.

Ideas for Wisconsin Science Festival Activities


Developing activities to offer for the Wisconsin Science Festival can be as easy as connecting to resources in your community such as nature clubs, service organizations, libraries, high school art and science clubs, public services or utilities, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, museums and historical sites, just to name a few. Science and art are everywhere. Below is a listing of some activities to consider.

Libraries/Community Centers

  • Book talks by local authors
  • Hands-on science activities for kids
  • Career talks by people in your community who have interesting science- or art-related jobs
  • Book talks for kids about interesting books on science/art
  • STEAM activities hosted by Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts

Parks/Conservancies/Nature Preserves

  • Hosted nature walks
  • Science in the park
  • Fitness events
  • Hosted bird watching events
  • Physics of skateboarding


  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Talks by curators
  • Special science-related exhibits

Local Bars/Restaurants; as a venue to host science-related talks, or in partnership with local breweries, wine makers or cheese producers

  • Science on tap events
  • Science cafes
  • History of brewing
  • Science of cheese making
  • Science of wine making

Public Services

  • Coroner’s Office - Meet the coroner
  • Local Water Utility - Science of tap water
  • Science of fire suppression and control

Local Schools

  • Open labs hosted by science club members
  • Science of music with the band, orchestra or drums
  • Screenings of science-based movies with a talk/Q&A by a local scientist in a field related to the topic of the film.

Local Clinics and Hospitals

  • Screenings
  • Talks
  • Workshops

Did you miss one of the featured events from the 2013 Wisconsin Science Festival?

Many of the featured events were recorded and can be viewed online.
See the list below for details.


Science Is Sexy-Ira Flatow | 9.26.13
Science Friday host and veteran science journalist Ira Flatow shows how science is popping up throughout pop culture, proving that despite what people think, science is, in fact, sexy.


Chemistry Imagined-Connecting Art and Science | 9.27.13
Artist Vivian Torrence and chemist, writer and Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann speak of the spirit of chemistry explored through art, and the tensions that emerge in any creative art-science collaboration, in a session moderated by Steve Paulson, executive producer and an interviewer with To the Best of Our Knowledge.


The Preschool Genius-Teaching Math & Science
to Early Learners | 9.28.13

Can preschoolers learn complex subjects? This interactive panel examines the intersection of STEM fields and the youngest learners, and the unmistakable benefit early exposure has on the academic careers of children.


WPR Presents the 9XM Players in Forbidden Planet Decoded | 9.28.13
Part 1
| Part 2 | Part 3
In Forbidden Planet Decoded, the residents of Altaira 4 and their earthly visitors collide in a place where the ultimate power is not science but the human psyche. This performance is presented by Wisconsin Public Radio and features the 9XM Players. Video courtesy of Wisconsin Public Television.


Indian Music with Saaz | 9.29.13
Saaz, an Indian music group on the UW–Madison campus, introduces their instruments, provides a brief history and explains how they are played before performing several musical compositions.


Sean Carroll | 9.29.13
Sean Carroll chronicles the adventures of Jacques Monod, a co-founder of molecular biology, from the dark years of the German occupation of Paris to the heights of the Nobel Prize, his friendship with the great writer Albert Camus and his emergence as a public figure and leading voice of science.

A Statewide Celebration