Wisconsin Science Festival

wiscifestWisconsin Science Festival
Celebrate curiosity and creativity!

Science festivals can introduce you to people, places and programs you can tap into year-round to discover how science is changing the way we look at and lead our lives.
Wisconsin Science Fest includes activities for all ages and interests and features nearly 250 events at more thaan 90 venues in over 30 communities across the state during October 20-23, 2016.

Free! Some activities may have a nominal charge for materials or meals, and some partner locations charge their regular admission fees.

What can you do at the festival? All kinds of fun stuff! From games to gadgets, robots to researchers, storytelling to stargazing, the festival has something for everyone.


Check out the variety of events taking place at locations throughout Wisconsin at the 2016 festival. Use the filters to find events that match your interests, are in a city near you, take place on the day you plan to attend the festival and more. Or Download the 2016 program guide in PDF form.


Here are a few highlights for #WiSciFest 2016:

Snapshot Wisconsin is a partnership to monitor wildlife year-round, using a statewide network of trail cameras. The project is a great way to get students outdoors and learn about local wildlife!  This workshop provides educators with all the information and equipment needed to deploy and monitor a trail camera, as well as resources to help teachers use Snapshot Wisconsin in the classroom.

The Artistry of Innovation: WARF Patent Drawings Through Time With WARF’s help, hundreds of professors, researchers and students have transformed their discoveries, napkin sketches and prototypes into real-world innovations. These patents, and thousands like them, contain drawings or figures to illustrate the invention. This exhibition shares some of the visual gems buried in the WARF patent collection and introduces a breathtaking array of inventions. In one sweep, visitors will be exposed to nine decades of genius.

UW–Madison Geology Museum
Explore the geology museum and take a peek into Wisconsin’s deep history! On your visit you can touch rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin; see corals, jellyfish and other sea creatures that used to live and swim where we now walk; and stand under the tusks of a mastodon while imagining yourself in the ice age. Also on display are rocks and minerals that glow, a model of a Wisconsin cave, dinosaurs and meteorites. The mineral, rock and fossil collections have the power to educate and inspire visitors of all ages. See for yourself!

Birds in Art 2016
Since 1976, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum has organized “Birds in Art,” the museum’s internationally renowned, flagship exhibition. The 41st annual fall exhibition will be on view September 10 through November 27 and features fresh interpretations of avian marvels by 112 worldwide artists, including 2016 Master Artist Karen Bondarchuk.

Building with Biology
Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Madison Science Museum! Daily hands-on activities will allow you to get messy and ask real scientists your questions about synthetic biology. Become a “Bio Bistro” in a card-based personal choice activity, where you decide what synthetic biology-based food products you would or would not eat.
Or, practice creative engineering by first designing a superhero to rescue a person falling from a tall building. Then, design a single-celled organism to clean up an oil spill. See how designing a superhero is similar to or different from designing a microorganism. And much, much more!


Discovery Expo 
features more than 20 interactive hands-on stations with science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities that you can explore at your own pace, as well as other UW–Madison activities. See some of the groups and organizations that will be at the Discovery Expo


D.C. Smith Greenhouse
Take a self-guided tour through D.C. Smith Greenhouse and explore the fascinating world of plan…

Flight Simulation Demonstrations 
Experience the thrill of flight in the UW Flight Simulation Laboratory! Guests of all ages are welcome to try their hand at flying both rotary-wing and fixed wing aircraft simulators, including an FAA-approved, motion simulator! Walk-in groups are welcome. This event is located in room 3014 of the Mechanical Engineering Building (Flight Laboratory). Visit website

Help share the excitement about the 2016 science festival, happening on October 20-23. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag events you’d like to share with #WiSciFest.

“I took my daughters to the festival on the first day. They had so much fun we went back the next day, and the next day, and the next. My favorite moment was hearing my daughter sing out, “Yay! More science!” — A 2014 Wisconsin Science Festival attendee

Science Arcade is a hands-on science event that connects all ages to the science, technology, engineering, math and, of course, the fun behind games! The evening will showcase vintage arcade games, virtual reality with the Living Environments Laboratory’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, augmented reality, DIY cardboard games, multiplayer games, place-based games, board games and so much more! 
This event is family-friendly and open to the public, but best of all, it’s FREE!  Fri, October 21: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI

Science Storytellers Jam!
An evening of science storytelling supported by Nerd Nite Madison and Moth storytelling. The stories will intertwine science with more personal experiences and will definitely prove to be both educational and entertaining. Expect to laugh, cheer and learn! The event will feature a mix of presentations by both Nerd Nite all-stars and local science storytellers providing stories about journeys through their field from campus researchers. And while you’re at this laid-back event, we encourage you to participate by asking questions and submitting ideas. Attendance at this event is free. A cash bar will be available throughout the night.
Learn more about Nerd Nite Madison and The Moth in Madison.
Sat, October 22: 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI


Big Ideas for Busy People – Madison
Back by popular demand for a third year at the Wisconsin Science Festival, Big Ideas for Busy People is a one-of-a-kind event that is also a centerpiece of the Cambridge (MA) Science Festival. Featuring five of the best and brightest in their respective fields, the event includes five minute talks by each with five minutes of Q&A. To keep the event moving, anyone going over five minutes will be gonged. Join us for the fun and hear from this year’s lineup of world-renowned speakers.
Sat, October 22: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
UW–Madison Discovery Building, Madison WI


Follow Wisconsin Science Festival @WiSciFest

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The mission of the Wisconsin Science Festival is to inspire and engage us all in the enterprise of science and discovery; to cultivate curiosity and communicate the power of knowledge and creativity to change our world view; to promote innovation and to cultivate the next generation of global citizens. The Wisconsin Science Festival is presented by a growing coalition of the science and arts community from across Wisconsin.

Learn more about science festivals all across the country at sciencefestivals.org.

The Wisconsin Science Festival is made possible without taxpayer dollars due to private funding and corporate support.

Home School Legal Defense Association

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools is now part of HSLDA’s Discount Group Program!  Individual families who belong to our SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools membership group save $20 on their HSLDA membership fee, paying $100 instead of $120.

What does joining HSLDA do for me?

  • Protects your right to homeschool and defends your family. A lawyer is on call 24/7.
  • Provides fast help by phone or email: Get direct answers to your specific questions about home education. Veteran homeschooling parents are available to answer your questions and help you find resources for teaching your children:
    • Toddlers to Tweens (PreK-8th grade)
    • High school (including preparing for college or career paths)
    • Struggling learners (special needs/gifted and talented)
  • Preserves homeschool freedom for all families by promoting homeschooling nationwide, as well as by working with state homeschooling groups to pass homeschool-friendly legislation and stop unfavorable bills at the state and federal levels.
  • Partners you with the cause: Although homeschooling is recognized in every state, HSLDA receives phone calls each day from families whose right to homeschool is being challenged or discriminated against by school officials, social workers, employers, colleges, armed services recruitment officers, and government bureaucrats. The customizable nature of homeschooling defies the educational elite’s ideal of mandatory, uniform indoctrination—making parental choice in education a target for elimination. By joining HSLDA, you are supporting families who are fighting for their right to homeschool today and standing together to preserve homeschooling freedom for tomorrow.

SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools recommends that homeschooling families join HSLDA.

Even if you never experience legal trouble yourself, your HSLDA membership will help enable other homeschooling families to get the legal help they need and will help defend our right to homeschool here in southwest Wisconsin.

Membership in HSLDA also gives you personal access to the legal staff; HSLDA’s experienced high school, struggling learners, and early years consultants; selling privileges at the HSLDA Curriculum Market; and discounts through HSLDA’s PerX program. (For more information about HSLDA’s many benefits, see http://www.hslda.org.).

SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools members SAVE $20 off the HSLDA membership price when you enter our Discount Group code on the HSLDA membership form!

Building a Community of Homeschools

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools
egional Membership Group

We’re building a community to help and support home education in southwest Wisconsin! Membership is open now in the Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools regional group. The group is open to any home educating family in the general area of southwest Wisconsin whose children are-will be-have been learning at home through any method of homeschooling.

Here’s what you get as a member:

  • Email notifications and reminders
  • Forums (searchable and archived)
  • Registration sign ups
  • Printable Membership Cards
  • Classified ads
  • Calendar listings
  • Shareable links and resources
  • Discount on WPA Membership
  • Discount on HSLDA Membership

Our membership year runs from October through October. Membership fee is $8.50 per family. You may join at any time, however the fee is not prorated and late charges may apply.

Are you part of a local homeschool support group?
The SW Wisc Community can
include local support groups within our regional network membership. Your local group maintains its own identity and image, and controls its own forums and event sign ups. Imagine how this could streamline your field trips and coop classes! Plus each individual can access the complete membership site.

Let’s find answers, help each other and build friendships.

The more of us banded together can make an impact for all of us.

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools


Programming and Robotics Classes in Janesville

Engineering, Programming and Robotics in Madison and Southern Wisconsin for Elementary and Middle School Students

STEM For Kids provides a fun learning environment for program participants.
Brain research shows that fun is an important ingredient for learning and memory. LEARN MORE

WHY homeschoolers love STEM for Kids 

Multi-age programs
Innovative curricula
Real-world based problem solving
Leadership opportunities
Open ended possibilities
Flexible delivery
4 C’s Focus:  collaboration,
creativity, communication, critical thinking
Intrinsically motivating – low stress- high challenge
Relevant topics
Activity based
Happy- relaxed environment
Celebrate all successes big and small;
learn from all mistakes, big and small
Learning to learn, not test
It is FUN!


Janesville Offerings

Computer Programming for Kids ages 7-11
Wednesday: 10:30– 12:00
Oct. 26– Dec 14, 2016

Robotics for Kids ages 7-11
Fridays: 10:30-12:00
Oct 28– Dec 16, 2016

NO Classes Thanksgiving Week

Orchard View Alliance Church
2707 Bond Place, Janesville, WI

COST: ONLY $12/Week with Discount Code

Use Code HOMESCHOOL to save 20%

See attachment for more information about STEM for Kids!

Request programming here📆

I would be happy to meet with the group any time to better explain STEM for Kids and answer questions.  Just give me a call at your convenience and we can schedule a time.  If interested, I could bring a class out to whatever location is most convenient for the members of your group.
Take Care, Donna

Donna Curtis, M.Ed
Owner and Instructor
Stem for Kids: Wisconsin-Madison

Wisconsin Parents Association

We’re building a community to help and support home education in southwest Wisconsin! Through October 15th, 2016 membership is open in SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools for all families that are/were/will be educating their children at home (virtual or traditional). The more of us that join together makes an important statement for all of us!

Southwest Wisconsin Community of Homeschools recommends that Wisconsin homeschool families join and support Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA).

Bundle your SW Wisconsin Homeschool Community membership with WPA – both groups benefit and you’ll save money!

  • WPA is the only organization that exists to serve all homeschoolers in Wisconsin.
  • WPA’s primary mission in Wisconsin is legislative watch and advocacy.  Influencing our legislature is more effective with a large membership.
  • WPA is a grassroots organization that has been providing accurate information about Wisconsin’s homeschool statutes since 1984.
  • WPA is available to help individual homeschool families when issues arise.

Wisconsin Parents Association is a state-wide, inclusive, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the right of homeschooling families to provide an education to their children according to their own principles and beliefs.

WPA provides accurate, up-to-date information about Wisconsin homeschooling laws and actively monitors state and national legislation regarding homeschooling, allowing you to advocate for yourself.

Wisconsin Parents Association watches legislation so you can spend your time homeschooling.

Join SW Wisconsin Community of Homeschools and WPA at the same time – both groups benefit and you’ll save money through the discount bundle program. Email us for details!

WPA has put their new web site online! You’ll find the you need more easily. Take a look and see what you think!

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Every Kid in a Park

Hey fourth graders!
See America’s natural wonders
and historic sites for free. All year!

From the forests in Alaska to the marine sanctuaries in the Florida Keys. There is so much to see and do.

Every Kid in a Park is a nation-wide endeavor to provide free access to any fourth grader to more than 2000 federal land and water sites.

There are 7 federal agencies involved: Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Every Kid In A Park Logo

That means there are more than 2000 federal land and water sites to be visited!

Better still, your fourth grader can take his or her siblings and up to three adults when visiting these great places.

Some states, like Wyoming, New York and Indiana, also honor the pass. Check your state parks to see if they are participating.

In Wisconsin, 2 park trails and areas are accessible with a Every Kid in a Park pass. These trails are the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

State Parks in Wisconsin

National Parks in Wisconsin

Go to www.everykidinapark.gov after Sept. 1st, 2016. There are instructions for the fourth grader (must be in in fourth grade or age equivalent during school year 2016-2017) to follow steps to download and print-out their own pass. Passes are good through August 31st, 2017.

There also is a link for educators — teachers and youth group leaders — to download for their group in preparation for a field trip.

Why fourth graders? Because research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history. The pass will be for fourth graders every year. Over time, every new fourth grader can get a free pass to explore our country.

Your child can take you amazing places! With the pass, fourth graders can bring family and friends on adventures free for a full year.

Let the year of fun and learning begin!

PARTICIPATING AGENCIES: These agencies support Every Kid in a Park. Learn more about their conservation work and find activities by visiting their websites.

The National Park Service turns 100 in 2016.

Happy Birthday, National Park Service!

As a proud partner of the National Park Service Centennial, Humana is encouraging Americans to get out and enjoy nature this summer. Take a 360° tour of Joshua Tree National Park as part of the “Bring the Parks to You” program.

Learn more at http://www.findyourpark.com.

Gloria Homeschool Choir 2016 Auditions and Concert Schedule


The Gloria Home-School Choir is an organization of home-schooled singers ranging in age from 12 years and up. Their purpose is to glorify God through skillful and artistic music presentations while teaching students the art of proper singing and musicianship. The director is Dennis Baldridge; accompanist, Jane Baldridge.

Learn more about the Gloria Choir.

Gloria Choir is now accepting new applications for the 2016 Christmas concert season!

Invite your friends to audition for the choir! Share this post!

Below you will find a link to the application, a tentative schedule with potential dates to save for the rehearsals and performances.

The typical age is 12 and up, but younger students with exceptional music abilities will be considered on a case by case basis.

It is expected that choir members will be able to sing on pitch.

Dues will be the same for 2016 ($15/student, $40 maximum per family).

What to expect at your audition:

  1. Sing the melody of a well-known hymn (your choice) with piano accompaniment.
  2. You will be asked to vocalize on “la” from low to high to verify your singing range.
  3. You will be asked to sing back several short melodic phrases to test your vocal matching and tonal memory.

(Yes, you may practice before you come!)

Tentative Choir Schedule:

Rehearsals – Thursday evenings, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, starting October 13th through Dec. 8th


December 9, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 7 pm & 9:00 am ? (WRCO)

December 10, 2016 Saturday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 6:30 pm

December 13, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 7 pm

December 15, 2016 Friday Gloria Choir Concert Location TBA 6 pm

Please let Dennis and Jane Baldridge know by September 8th, 2016 if you are planning to participate.

Applications are available at this link:

All potential new members will be contacted to schedule their audition before rehearsals begin so mail/e-mail your application soon.

Dennis and Jane Baldridge

Invite your friends to audition for the Gloria Choir – Share this post!

Driftless United Athletics Soccer Opportunities – Viroqua

Join Driftless United Athletics for the following soccer opportunities in Viroqua!


Click the image for the link to DUA’s summer soccer page!


Hosted by Driftless United Athletics
5, 2016
am to noon for ages 13-18
Polo and Ebbetts Baseball Fields
Ben Lawton Dr.
and Johnson St., Viroqua

TetraBrazil Soccer Camps offer American players the opportunity to experience first-hand the kind of soccer training that has made Brazil the most successful soccer nation in the world. The TetraBrazil Soccer Academy will teach your child more than just techniques and tactics. Each member of the TetraBrazil coaching staff will bring an authentic taste of the flair, passion, and creativity of Brazilian soccer to our camps. Typical sessions include: Brazilian Warm Ups, Fast Footwork, Individual Skills, Combination Plays, Brazilian Moves, 1 v 1 Attacking, Speed Training, Crossing & Shooting.
Or, print a registration form here: http://driftlessunitedathletics.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-Tetrabrazil-flyer.pdf


(also led by TetraBrazil Coaches, along with local coaches!)
12, 2016
9:00 to 11:00 am, ages 5-9
9:00 to 12:00 noon, ages 10-13
8:00 to 9:00 a
m, additional optional skills intensive for ages 10-13
Registration Form


*NEW in Fall 2016–U8 Teams for ages 6-7
U8 to U14 (ages 6-13) Registration Forms

High School Registration Forms ***Register by August 1st to SAVE $15.

Contact DUA’s new administrator, Sofya Hundt, at hundt@frontiernet.net.

See you on the field!

Driftless United Athletics



Any “A” Will Do at Noah’s Ark Waterpark for Free Admission During “A Days”

Noah’s Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, WI, as the self-proclaimed “America’s largest water park” is a favorite summertime treat for families. Many deals and discounts will help you squeeze more fun into your visit. By far, one of the most popular is Noah’s Ark Waterpark’s “A Days” which is a reward for excellent behavior, preparation and achievement for students.

Noah's Ark DarkVoyage

Any “A” or equivalent grade in any subject on a recent 2016 report card will get a student – from Kindergarten through College – in for Free during A Days at Noah’s Ark Waterpark.

(More details below.)

Noah’s Ark is proud to announce 2016 “A Days” Sunday, June 12th, Monday, June 13th, and Tuesday, June 14th 
(Regular Park Hours:10 am to 6:30 pm)

Noah’s Ark Waterpark
1410 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965
(608) 254-6351
Get Directions

The weather forecast
may have ups and downs, but don’t let that scare you away. Sometimes when the skies are cloudy and the temps are cooler, the lines for the rides are shorter!

There’s lots to do at Noah’s Ark Waterpark. More than 25 attractions await you, from the water coaster, Black Anaconda, to drifting down Adventure River or splashing around one of the Kiddie Areas, Noah’s Ark is pure family-fun.

{You also may want to check out the
special summer ticket deal of $10 per person that Wisconsin Dells neighbors, Mt. Olympus Outdoor Waterpark have going on until Labor Day 2016.)

What qualifies for a student’s free admission during A Days?

Any A will do!

Show up on the designated days with an official student report card or transcript.

The document must show at least one A grade or the equivalent of an A grade from the most recent 2016 version that they can obtain.

Homeschoolers need to have a “bona fide” report card or transcript showing a grade equivalent to an A. Many parents have used forms found on websites like Donna Young or forms that they use for their record-keeping. What is important is that the document is real and unaltered; it cannot be copied or transferred to another individual or hand-created by the student.

You are only permitted to attend once on the A Days promotion. The report card acts as the admission ticket, so it is valid for one use only. To prevent multiple uses or device transfer, they need to stamp the actual paper report card or printed screenshot with name. Students get in free when presenting their most recent report card featuring any A in any subject!

You must follow the dress code and other rules of the park. No outside food or beverages are allowed inside the park.

Noah’s Ark has over 250 trained and licensed Lifeguards stationed throughout the park to help you have a safe day. They even help you get on rides and provide “splashdown” assistance. Life jackets are available at the wave pools at no charge and are required in the wave pools for those under 48 inches tall.

Parents and relatives will have to pay regular admission in order to enter the park. Children under 48 inches tall are $28.99, Children age 2 and under are free. Seniors age 55 and up with ID are $28.99. (There is no discount for those who will not be getting wet.)

Veterans and active or Reserve Military get FREE admission during Military Days June 1-30, 2016. Plus, Military Family members get half off admission during June 2016. Just bring your valid Military ID.

Parking has gone up in price again, and this year will cost you $10 for the day. Or you can get Preferred parking closer to the gate for $15. There are handicap accessible spaces.
Noah's Ark Waterpark

Get your report card and your swimwear, and head out to Noah’s Ark Waterpark for some fun!

Journey Through Time in Prairie du Chien

“Journey Through Time” May 14 – A one day open house / showcase of Prairie du Chien, WI historical sites.13174095_500503733472278_1405808408854247970_n
More than a dozen historical venues in Prairie du Chien, many not usually open to the public, will open their doors for free or reduced admission as part of the Wisconsin Historical Downtown Open House event.
Historic and Interesting Site Tours include: Fort Crawford Hotel; Fort Crawford Cemetery; Old Crawford County Jail / The Dungeon; Old Firehouse at the Local Oven; The Knowlton House, Fort Crawford Museum; City Hall artworks, Zion Evangelical Church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Saint Gabriel’s Holy Family Parish Catholic Church and the former Saint Mary’s Academy grounds (now known as Wyalusing Academy) will all offer free tours. The Villa Louis will be open for a discounted admission. Some sites may have limited tour hours.13164440_500466256809359_1571293694188394019_n
Other activities include: Horse drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. starting at Peoples State Bank parking lot, Salsa Saturday demos at Nelson True Value, tulip lollipop children’s craft station at the Pickett Fence, 200th anniversary commemorative cannon firing at The Fort Crawford Museum every ½ hour (11 am-4 pm), food vendors, demos and live music at Driftless Edibles, popcorn sampling and souvenir photo ops at The Local Oven, period displays and Gordon Peckham historic photos at The Knowlton House, “Wind in the Barley” live band on the corner of Blackhawk Avenue and Beaumont road, vintage postcards and 1818 root beer at Check’s Antiques and more.
Saturday evening will include a special showcase of Mark Twain and “The Laughing River” at the Dousman House. Jim Post, a well known Mark Twain impersonator, will take the stage for one showcase of his Mark Twain show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door and the historic Dousman House will open at 6 p.m. that evening. Seats are limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the following downtown merchants: The Pickett Fence, Driftless Edibles, The Planted Tree and Peoples State Bank.
Tour site maps and other activity information for the event can be picked up at The Knowlton House on May 14. Also the event activities will continue to be promoted online at http://www.facebook.com/mainstreetpdc. For more information, please call 608.412.1995 or email mainstreetpdc@gmail.com.