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Family festival salutes science Saturday at museum

June 18, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

A high-energy science show will headline the free Family Arts Festival outside the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown. The festival is slated for Saturday, June 19.

Young audience members "can expect to have their imagination sparked by incredibly visual displays of science" during Mad Science of Washington's 45-minute "Magic of Science" show, said "mad scientist" Jamie Lerner, 24. Silver Spring, Md.-based Mad Science of Washington is a franchise of The Mad Science Group, a Canadian company with a Web site at www.madscience.org. Mad scientists use demonstrations and theatrics to give kids a better understanding of science and its impact on their world.

The "Magic of Science" show - which will kick off the festival in the museum's courtyard at 11 a.m. - is designed to get kids excited about science with flask-bubbling experiments, color-changing potions, disappearing water and other scientific feats, Lerner said. After the show, youngsters will have the opportunity to make "slime" - a gooey substance that kids can color any hue they choose - at the Mad Science slime booth. The booth will be set up for two hours so kids will have plenty of time to learn about slime and ask science-related questions, Lerner said.

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And how does one go about becoming a mad scientist?

"You have to go to Mad Science school, of course," Lerner said. Actually, most Mad Science employees hold science-related college degrees and have experience working with children at camps and other venues, she said. All mad scientists also complete extensive training, Lerner added.

The Family Arts Festival will mark Mad Science's first trip to Hagerstown - a trip festival organizers planned to bring new zing to the popular arts event. About 200 children and their adult chaperones attended the Family Arts Festival last year, said Linda Dodson, the museum's educational coordinator.

"We wanted something interesting as well as educational," she said.

Science and slime aside, children can participate in a variety of art activities. Museum instructors will lead drawing, painting, collage and other projects, Dodson said. Volunteers will be painting faces.




If you go...



Family Arts Festival

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

City Park, Hagerstown

Saturday, June 19

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free

Various art activities, face-painting, science show. Refreshments available for sale.

For more information, call 301-739-5727 or the telecommunications device for the deaf at 301-739-5764, or go to www.washcomuseum.org on the Web. To learn more about The Mad Science Group, go to www.madscience.org on the Web.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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