LINCS Science & Numeracy Special Collection
Events & Celebrations

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Events & Celebrations

Many organizations conduct special celebrations that draw awareness to facets of science and math, and their relevance to daily life. These usually take the form of a special day or week, with events and activities centered on a specific theme. These celebrations are national or international in scope. The sponsoring organization often publishes free materials for teaching and learning as well as hosting a specific website. The website usually contains an archive of past celebrations and materials. The activities need not be confined to the designated week–learning can be celebrated all year long! In this sense, the materials are quite applicable to adult literacy programs, whose structures and participants often do not lend themselves to sequential, long-term curricula. The purpose of this page is to alert the adult literacy community to these special science & numeracy celebrations.

Dive and Discover--Expeditions to the Seafloor:
Expedition 4 March 27-May 5, 2001

Join the R/V Knorr as it embarks on a 40-day journey to the Indian Ocean. Scientists aboard the ship will be investigating hydrothermal vents in the mid-ocean ridge. They will use a variety of instruments, including submersible vehicles. This website has a great glossary, slide shows, videos, and daily updates. One can send email to the scientists aboard the ship. The latitude and longitude of the ship will be posted on the website. A map is provided so that the ship can be tracked. (Great math exercises!!) Look under "Deeper Discovery-Teacher Resources" for information about ordering an "Educator's Companion" set of activities. Adult learners have enjoyed participating in past Dive and Discover expeditions.

Pi Day March 14, 2001
Celebrate Pi Day! The precise commemoration begins at 1:59! (3/14/159…..). Here are links to organizations celebrating Pi Day, which is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. These websites suggest many interesting activities!

The Noon Day Project–in the Spirit of Eratosthenes, Measuring the Circumference of the Earth, March 5-30, 2001

The purpose of this experiment is to recreate the measurement of the circumference of the Earth, using only simple tools. This project has been enacted on the Vernal Equinox for the last several years, and there are many websites that describe the project. This site is another collaborative project from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE). Learn everything you ever wanted to know abut Eratosthenes, register to collect data at (your) local noon between March 17-24, then collect those data by measuring shadows cast by a meter stick at that time. Report findings to the data collection site, so that we all may use calculations taken at different locations on Earth. If you wish to register to report data, go to Further information also may be found also at the website listed below.

Eratosthenes Experiment: A Worldwide Science and Math Experiment, March 20, 2001

This one-day project allows students from all over the globe to calculate the circumference of the Earth by measuring the shadow of the sun on the Vernal or Autumnal Equinox, then using that measurement in a simple equation. The website gives a description of Eratosthenes’ experiment, a simple diagram with instructions to repeat the experiment, and results of experiments in previous years. Students and classes are encouraged to share their results with others by completing an experiment report form.

Human Genetics–A Worldwide Search for the Dominant Trait. Do You Have It? March 5-May 25, 2001

This is another wonderful collaborative project from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE). Register (it’s free) by submitting a letter of introduction from your group or class. Then, collect data on such observable genetic characteristics as earlobes (free or attached), dimples, straight or curved thumbs, and straight or bent "pinky" fingers. Finally, submit a report about what your group has discovered. The purpose of the data collection activity is to answer these questions:

  1. How often do certain easily-observable human traits occur in a population?
  2. Is there a relationship between the frequency of a trait in a population and whether or not the trait is dominant or recessive?

Learners will have the opportunity to formulate hypotheses and use the data compiled by students around the globe to test their hypotheses. This website has survey forms, directions, reference material, instructions for teachers, and links to experts in the field of human genetics.

International Public Science Day, March 21, 2001

"Science Works!" How Science Benefits Your Community

International Public Science Day, March 21, 2001, is a presentation of the

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in collaboration with The Franklin Institute Science Museum and Unisys. The mission of Public Science Day is: to raise the public awareness about the importance of science education and to heighten the enthusiasm for science and technology learning and understanding. For links to great websites connected to this day, go to Useful Websites:

Earth Day 2001, April 22, 2001

There are many websites involved in the celebrations of Earth Day. Here is a start:

Earth Day and Schools--many project ideas for Earth Day.

Earth Day Groceries Project

World’s Largest Math Event (WLME) 7: April 27, 2001

"Mathematics at the Fair":

Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the World’s Largest Math Event celebrates mathematics and math teaching. WLME activities encourage students of all ages to work together creatively to solve rich and challenging problems. Activities from past WLME are archived at this site. Many teachers adapt the past event activities into other units of study. For example, see Math at the Olympics from WLME2:

Earth Science Week, October 7-13, 2001
Join the American Geological Institute and the Canadian Geoscience Council in this celebration of Earth Science Week. There are many suggested activities at this website, some suitable for family literacy programs. Find out the answers to such questions as "What is pumice, and what is its connection with blue jeans?", "When is a volcano extinct?", "Where is the rock that once filled the Grand Canyon?", and "Is it likely that a devastating earthquake could hit Manhattan Island?"

National Chemistry Week (NCW): November 4-10, 2001
"Chemistry and Art":
This event, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, is "…designed to enhance public awareness of the contributions chemistry makes to society and our everyday lives." This year’s theme, "Chemistry and Art", offers many connections between chemistry and the arts.. Hands-on activities will be available at the website and in the October issue of ChemMatters, a quarterly magazine about chemistry.

Yearlong Events and Ongoing Celebrations


National Health Observances:

The National Health Information Center (NHIC) is the health information referral service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NHIC puts health professionals and consumers who have health questions in touch with those organizations that are best able to provide answers. Here you will find a monthly calendar of health observances and events. Information is given about the sponsoring organization, contacts, and links to websites. There is tremendous variety here: depending upon the topic, one may get the latest news on local programs, legislation, clinical trials, and self-assessments to determine risk factors.

This site also provides links to Healthfinder, the gateway for consumer health and human services information. and the Health Information Resource Database.

NSF Nifty Fifty

In the year 2000, The National Science Foundation celebrates its 50th Anniversary!

The Nifty50 are NSF-funded inventions, innovations and discoveries that have become commonplace in our lives. This interactive website allows a person to click on each innovation and explore it in greater depth. After exploring the 50, take a quiz to test your knowledge!


To submit ideas and resources for this site, please contact Susan Cowles.