SciFest Schedule: 2024

Dates and Deadlines

Explore FIRST LEGO League Expo registration: Open, click this link for details.

(A smaller build challenge is also available this year).

Pi Run registration opens: January 15, 2024 – limited to first 300

Poetry Jam submissions: Accepted year-round with a 2024 deadline of February 23

SciFest STAR teacher award nominations: Accepted year-round with a 2024 deadline of March 7

Science Day for 3rd-6th Graders registration opens: January 15, 2024 – limited to first 300

Science Day for Little Scientists registration opens: January 15, 2024 – limited to first 300

 

Printable Fliers

2024 Science Festival

2023 Women in Science Panel

2024 Poetry Jam Competition

2024 STAR Teacher Award

Questions?

scifest@randolphcollege.edu

The Randolph College Society of Physics Students is proud to announce the annual Randolph College Science Festival (SciFest)! The event started as a science day for kids in 2005 and expanded to a full festival in 2009. Today, we are joined by science, humanities, and arts departments across campus as well as numerous presenters and outside vendors to create a weekend of activities for all.

If you would like to receive information and updates about the 2024 SciFest and future events, please email scifest@randolphcollege.edu with the subject line “mailing list.” Or, stay updated by “Liking” the I Love Randolph Science Facebook page.

Please note that the following are public events, and sponsoring organizations or the public may be taking pictures or recording video footage. By participating in these events, you (or, for students and other children under 18, your parent or guardian) consent to the capture and/or use of your (or your child’s) image and/or voice by Randolph College and waive any claims or rights, whether in law or in equity.


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Pi Run

6:00 pm | Main Hall (Front Campus)

Join us to celebrate Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday with a 3.14 mile fun run/walk, with a piece of pi(e) afterward!  Learn more about the SciFest Pi Run at this link. This year, the event is in-person, but there is a virtual option for alumnae/alumni who are not local to the College.

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Limited to the first 300, please register here starting on January 15, 2024.

 


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

AI Panel

3:45 p.m. Reception; 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. Panel | Wimberly Recital Hall, Presser Building

Ask questions and hear experts from business and education discuss the impact of Artificial Intelligence in their areas.

Moderator: Katrin Schenk, Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering. As well as having a PhD in astrophysics, Dr. Schenk focuses on computational problems and also does research in neuroscience.

Panelists:

  • Karen Jackson, former Virginia Secretary of Technology
  • Catherine Phillips, Instructional Supervisor for Technology & Science, Lynchburg City Schools
  • Brad Spendlove, Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Dr. Spendlove’s research area is computational creativity, a research field that seeks to develop autonomous agents that exhibit creativity.
  • Robert Turcotte, Senior Systems Consultant, Entré Computer Center

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.


Thursday, March 21, 2024 thru SciFest weekend

Chick Cam

Watch the chicks hatch over SciFest weekend!


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Keynote Speaker: Grace Stanke, Miss America 2023 and Nuclear Engineer sponsored by Runk & Pratt and Miss VA Volunteer

6:45 p.m. reception and photos – 7:30 p.m. event | Smith Hall Theatre, Smith Building

For her keynote program, Grace will share her perspective on “Clean Energy, Cleaner Future”, how the importance of cleaner energy options play a role in protecting our environment, and her journey of sharing these topics as her platform as a scientist, nuclear engineer, and titleholder of Miss America 2023.  Please join us for a reception with refreshments before the program at 6:45 pm, with meet & greet opportunities with Grace and our event sponsors, Runk & Pratt and Miss VA Volunteer.  To learn more about Grace, see the Keynote Speaker Details.

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.

Science Teaching Award from Randolph (STAR) Presentation sponsored by the Al Stroobants Foundation

7:30 p.m. | Smith Hall Theatre, Smith Building

At the opening of the keynote event, we will award the 2024 SciFest STAR – the regional, high school science teacher award! We invite anyone to nominate a teacher, or to self-nominate; it does take a small effort to gather some documentation, and the nomination process is described at this link.


Friday, March 22, 2024

Alumni STEM Career Lunch

12:20 p.m. – 1:05 p.m. | Darden One, Cheatham Dining Area

Join our science alums for an informal lunch.

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.

Center for Student Research & Career Development Center Open House

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Center for Student Research, Main 137

Visit the Center for Student Research, the hub for student research and creative endeavors in all subjects, not just science. Drop by to see our space, to see displays of student research, and enjoy some popcorn and candy.

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.

Women in Science Panel & Reception sponsored by Framatome

Panel 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Nichols Theatre, Student Center
Reception 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Hampson Commons, Student Center

We are proud of our alumnae! Learn how they have succeeded in their fields. Please join us if you’re interested in hearing from successful women scientists, but especially if you are considering going into a career related to science.  The Office of Alumni Relations is hosting a reception for the panelists and guests immediately following the panel discussion.

Panelists:

  • Courtney Carter Plaster ’92 – Executive Director, Clean Valley Council
  • Dr. Ashleigh Baber ’05 – Associate Professor of Materials Chemistry, James Madison University
  • Dr. Kristina Whately ‘14 – Postdoctoral Research Associate at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Bria Carlisle ‘16- Adjunct Biology Professor at John Tyler Community College

See our 2023 Women in Science Panel flier here!

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.

Poetry Jam! Reading and Awards Ceremony

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Thoresen Theatre, Leggett Building

Please join us for the reception, awards, and reading of all SciFest Poetry Jam finalists. Refreshments will be served.

Poetry submissions for 2024 are now being accepted! We look forward to seeing you all at the Science Festival. Learn more about the SciFest Poetry Jam!. Finalists are invited to read your poem at this event. All are invited to join us for the poetry reading. All finalists receive a t-shirt, and three STEM Contest winners from each grade category (primary, elementary, middle, high), and a winner from each category of the JRW Contest will be announced. Congratulations to all who submitted a poem!

A Scientist Goes to the Movies: Oppenheimer

7:30 – 10:45 p.m.| Thoresen Theatre, Leggett Building

Join us to watch a movie with live commentary from one of our faculty scientists.  Free popcorn for all!

  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Science Day for 3rd-6th Graders sponsored by United Bank

11:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Michels Athletic Center, Norfolk Avenue

For children in grades 3-6, a parent, guardian, or responsible adult must be present for individual or group of children. Requires pre-registration, please follow this link for details: SciFest Science Day for 3rd-6th Graders.

  • Audience: This event is open to 3rd-6th graders.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Limited to the first 300, please register here starting on January 15, 2024.

Science Day for Little Scientists

Afternoon sessions: 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. | Nursery School, Randolph Campus

For children ages 3-7, child must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult at all times. Requires pre-registration, please follow this link for details: Science Day for Little Scientists.

  • Audience: This event is open to children ages 3-7.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Limited to the first 300 (75 each hour, you need to register for a particular hour), please register here starting on January 15, 2024.

Glow Stick Star Party

8:30 p.m. -10:00 p.m. | Winfree Observatory

Come view the heavens! Refreshments will be served, and glow sticks will be available for all.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Maker Faire Lynchburg logo

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Main Hall, Front Campus

Maker Faire Lynchburg is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and love sharing what they can do.  We partner with Vector Space, our local makerspace to bring this event to campus as part of SciFest.  From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, the Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, and projects. Activities are appropriate for all ages. A map of the event, list of Makers, and full schedule of events is coming soon! Check out all of the awesome makers that attended in 2023 here: https://lynchburg.makerfaire.com/makers-exhibits/

In addition to the Maker Faire, hands-on science exhibitions provided by the Randolph College Society of Physics Students will also be present! From non-Newtonian fluid to campus sustainability, we look forward to seeing everyone during Sunday activities!

A map of all activities will soon be hosted at https://lynchburg.makerfaire.com/event-map/. Feel free to see this old map for past activities in the meantime!  (2022 MakerFaireMap)

SMASH @ SciFest

11:00 a.m. start | Alice’s E-Cade, Student Center

Welcome gamers of all levels to a Round Robin mini tournament hosted by the Randolph College E-sports Team at SciFest! Try to conquer your pool of smashers for chances at amazing prizes! Please bring your own controller but we will have limited controllers available at the event. Will also have limited setups but feel free to bring your own as we will have space for additional switches. Event will take place in Alice’s E-Cade in the Student Center.

SciFest FIRST LEGO League Explore Build Challenge Expo sponsored by Genworth Financial

Event 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Smith Building
Public Viewing 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Smith Banquet Hall
Awards 4:00 p.m. | Smith Theatre

This year, Randolph College will be offering two LEGO® competitions –the traditional FIRST® LEGO® League Explore projects and a smaller building challenge using kits provided by Randolph. You can learn more about the FIRST® LEGO® League Explore competition on this page. We will post details about the smaller building challenge in February.  This event is made possible by our generous supporters at Genworth Financial.
  • Audience: Registration is open to elementary school teams and individuals. All participants are welcome to join the competition on the day of the event.
  • Cost: The Expo is free to registrants and observers, but teams will need to register with FIRST to purchase challenge materials. See here for more details. Our optional smaller build challenge is free to registrants and observers, and we will cover cost of materials.
  • Registration: Please see instructions here. Deadline for Expo Registration is March 17th. Deadline for Randolph Scholarships is February 29, 2024. Registration for smaller build challenge is open now through February 26th, and we will accept day-of builds! Email tcerulli@randolphcollege.edu if there are further questions.

Virginia’s Region 2000 KidWind Challenge

10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Houston Memorial Chapel

As part of SciFest, Randolph College will serve as the host for the first annual Lynchburg regional KidWind Challenge, partnered with Future Focus Foundation.  Middle school teams (6th-8th grade, with 2-6 students per team) and their coaches will build a wind turbine and explore renewable energy concepts.  They’ll put their designs to the test during the challenge, and the winning team will go on to compete at the State Challenge.
  • Audience: Registration is open to middle school teams.
  • Cost: Resources are available through scholarships and free Wind Turbine challenge kits.  Sign up to learn more about ways to get access to those resources.
  • Registration: Please fill out the form here for more information. Challenge Registration is December 2023-February 2024.
  • Info Flier 

Science + Art Saturdays Reception

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Ashley Jack Room, Smith Building

Attend the Science + Art Saturdays 2023 Randolph Scholars awards ceremony. Come if you’ve attended any Science + Art Saturdays event, or if you are curious to learn about the program. Learn more about Science + Art Saturdays.
  • Audience: This event is open to the public.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration: Registration/tickets are not required.


Flier: 2024 printable brochure


2024 Sponsors and Friends

Thank you to our generous donors and sponsors for our annual Science Festival.  This event has grown into something truly wonderful and impactful for our community, and we would not be able to do this without our supporters.

Marie Curie Sponsors ($5000 and above)

United Bank – The Al Stroobants Foundation – Runk & Pratt/Miss VA Volunteer

Albert Einstein Sponsors ($2500-$4999)

Genworth – Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation – Framatome

Isaac Newton Sponsors ($1000-$2499)

Bill A. Stuart, II – Watts Petroleum – Dodson Bros. Exterminating – Jamerson-Lewis Construction – High Peak Sportswear – Vector Space – James River Association

Rosalind Franklin Sponsors ($500-$999)

Peery and Woolwine Family Dentistry – Fleet Labs – N.B. Handy Company – Catherine Tucker-Slaterbeck – Foster Fuels – Bank of the James – McGriff Insurance Services – Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black – Bank of the James – Future Focus Foundation – Black Earth Insitute

Friends ($50-$499)

Amazement Square – Catherine Mosley – Kacey Meaker 08′ – Coleman-Adams Construction, Inc. – Frito Lay – Randy & Robin Earley – Science in Space – Cheryl Lindeman

  • Keynote Speaker sponsored by Runk & Pratt/Miss VA Volunteer
  • STAR Teacher Award sponsored by the Al Stroobants Foundation
  • Science Day for 3rd-6th Graders sponsored by United Bank
  • Women in Science Panel sponsored by Framatome
  • LEGO Build Challenge Expo sponsored by Genworth Financial
  • Named sponsor opportunities still available: SciFest Steven Hawking Title Sponsor, Science Day for Little Scientists, Pi Run, Poetry Jam!, Scientist Goes to the Movies, KidWind Challenge
  • Please visit this link to learn more about our sponsors or to become a Sponsor or a Friend