Science on the Square

Join us for one fantastic night that blends science with downtown Madison businesses!  OCTOBER 17, 2024

Back for its seventh year, the ever-popular Science on the Square event is again fusing with the Madison Night Market to create a unique way to explore hands-on science activities while also supporting local businesses and vendors.

At Science on the Square, outdoor STEM-themed activities will mix with Madison Night Market vendor tents throughout State Street. Indoor locations will showcase interesting exhibits, talks, or menu/product specials for you to check out as well. Learn more about the science that surrounds us every day while exploring downtown Madison. Be sure to stop by the top of State Street (near the capitol) to see physics demonstrations, rock out with iHeart Radio/Madison Z104, and create a fun glowing design on a giant Science Brite. Then make your way down to Lisa Link Peace Park (400 block) for live music!

The Wisconsin Science Festival and Madison’s Central Business Improvement District are proud to bring you an event you won’t want to miss. Join us in downtown Madison between 5 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, for fun for all ages!

List of participating 2023 businesses and locations: 2024 MAP COMING SOON

  • Madison Children’s Museum – Free Family Night (4-8pm)
  • Madison Central Library: Wisconsin Book Festival Author Events (5:30pm, 7:00pm)
  • Wonders of Physics: Live physics demonstrations with Haddie McLean (6 and 7 pm)
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum – Visit the museum and learn how to build a space rover with Wisconsin Robotics
  • Mom’s Bar: Join the Band! – Explore the brain-bending science of improvisational electronic music!
  • MilliporeSigma Curiosity Cube on Gilman Street
  • 100 Block of State St.
    • Ian’s Pizza and the Hicks Lab – What is aquaponics? (INDOORS)
    • Clary’s and UW-Madison Team Sweet – What puts the “Pop” in popcorn and “Sweet” in sweet corn?
    • Michelangelo’s Coffee House and C-Motive Technologies, Inc. – How is 275 year old science improving the most under-appreciated building block of all of modern society?
    • Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Catalysts for Science Policy – Who is lactococcus lactis? Wisconsin’s unsung cheesemaker (INDOORS)
    • Wisconsin Racing Formula SAE Electric – How does a race car work?
    • UW-Madison Cognitive Origins Lab – What do you and monkey shave in common?
    • Engineers Without Borders – Can a car run without batteries?
  • 200 Block of State St.
    • James Watrous Gallery – MEND: The Work of Repair (INDOORS)
    • Sencha Tea Bar and the Whitman Lab – What happens below ground during a fire? (INDOORS)
    • Madison Museum of Contemporary Art = Art Making Fun (5-8pm) and MMoCA Cinema: A Common Sequence (7pm)
    • Little Luxuries and Waisman Center Pediatric Neuro Modulation Lab – Navigating the Intricacies of Your Mind-Body Connection
    • Fontana Sports and Atmospheric & Oceanic Science – Do you know how to predict the future? (INDOORS, Closes at 8pm, – 216 N. Henry St.)
    • Materials Science Gradute Students – Where, oh where, are the floating trains?
  • 300 Block of State St.
  • 400 Block of State St.
    • ** Wisconsin Science Festival Information Tent**
    • Downtown Madison Information and Music Stage at Lisa Link Park: 5pm – Kat and the Hurricane, 7pm – Elements
    • Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Science to Street Art mural and share your experience on social media using #MadisonCarbonCycle (318 W. Gorham)
    • City of Madison Sustainability
    • Le C’s and UW-Madison Chemistry GSFLC – How can we make chemical reactions go faster? (INDOORS)
    • Hawk’s Bar & Grill and USDA-ARS, UW-Madison Horticulture – Where in time and where in the world did this plant come from?
    • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Snapshot Wisconsin
  • 500 Block of State St.
    • It’Sugar and Food Science Club – What makes popping candy pop?
    • Jewelers on State Street and Solis at UW-Madison – How do You Make a Star in a Jar? (INDOORS)
    • Facial Collective and Scanned Probe Lab – What does if feel like to be an atom or electron stuck in a crystal? (INDOORS)
    • Fjallraven and Romero Biochemistry Lab – How does nature speed up chemical reactions by a quintillion fold?
    • Wisconsin Energy Institute – What is yeast’s favorite food for fermentation?
    • WESLI and The Science of Language
    • Allen Centennial Garden – DNA bracelets and plant breeding
    • Art Gecko and Geologic Timeline
    • UW-Madison Biophysics Society – Tie Dye Your Milk
  • 600 Block of State St.
    • UW-Madison Freedman and Whitman Lab – What can we find living in soil?
    • Undergraduate Genetics Association – What do squares have to do with genetics?
    • UW-Madison BME-GSA – What makes water wet?

If you are a scientist looking to present some fun, hands-on activities during Science on the Square, please reach out to [email protected] for more information about signing up to participate!

By participating in events held, sponsored, or promoted by Wisconsin Science Festival, you agree to assume all risk related to COVID-19 and release from liability the Wisconsin Science Festival and its affiliated partners and sponsors, as more fully set forth at  Learn about the year-round community programs at the Discovery Building.

Copyright 2024