Media Advisory: The famous and beloved ‘frozen banana,’ a portable planetarium, ‘really’ gross anatomy and other ‘Cool Science” attractions return to UB

Students standing in front of instructor with large bird.

Students learn about the natural environment at a previous Science Exploration Day.

Hundreds of high school science scholars converge on UB during spring break for the annual Science Exploration Day

Release Date: March 20, 2017 This content is archived.

“The students can see and hear about what is happening at the ‘cutting edge’ of science with Western New York professionals. ”
Rodney Doran, professor emeritus
Department of Learning and Instruction in UB’s Graduate School of Education

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Science Exploration Day, Western New York’s annual kid-friendly, offbeat, science-education bash designed to catch the eyes and imaginations of the most promising high school science minds in the area, returns to the University at Buffalo’s North Campus on Wednesday, March 22.

When: The first session begins at 9:15 a.m. Students then attend small hands-on sessions, a keynote presentation and take lab tours until 1:05 p.m.

What: Science Exploration Day presents numerous photo opportunities while many of the area’s best and brightest high school students watch innovative and visual science exhibits. For more information, visit:

Where: The lower level of Capen Hall (map: on UB’s North Campus is “Cool Science” central. Media looking for particular seminars and best visuals can get room locations for specific sessions and directions on-site.

Best bets: Bill Owens, senior engineering consultant for Praxair Inc., will demonstrate the effects of extremely cold temperatures on everyday items, including the customary frozen banana. His “Cold, Cold World of Cryrogenics” is the keynote address. The unapologetic “gross anatomy” class is certain to elicit reactions (“Not for the faint of heart,” the Science Exploration Day brochure warns). Other photo-worthy exhibits include projections of constellations and stars inside a portable star lab planetarium, colorful specimens from a coral reef, and a tour of UB’s earthquake simulator.

More Science Exploration Day attractions: Students can choose seminars on sexually transmitted diseases called “The Gift That Keeps Giving;” paranormal mysteries; “The WILD Side of Western New York,” a hands-on approach to learning about the creatures that surround us; “Wild Weather,” featuring views of the damage of some of the worst local storms; and “The Real Big Bang Theory,” the history and recent breakthroughs about the origin and evolution of the universe.

Why: This is the 31st time students will travel as far as two hours each way to UB for an up-close-and-personal experience with weird and unusual science research. The event hopes to excite and inspire Western New York’s most promising science students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and “tune them into science,” says Rodney Doran, professor emeritus in the Department of Learning and Instruction in UB’s Graduate School of Education, who has been on the organizing committee since the event began in the mid-1980s.

“The students can see and hear about what is happening at the ‘cutting edge’ of science with Western New York professionals,” Doran says.

Students will attend a large keynote presentation, one of six different large-group presentations and two small-group presentations. The students choose small-group sessions that most interest them from among 30 options.

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