C2ST Weekly: The C2ST Gala + Gorilla Adoption

By C2ST Staff

Good afternoon. Here’s what’s happening in the world of STEM this week.

Scientists are drinking wine that they left in…space…for a year, astronomers are pondering the possibility of alien life on planets with subsurface oceans, and gorilla adoptions are in swing!

What we’re working on

Our upcoming slate of programming is made up of some eye-opening originals and some sequels to crowd-pleasers. Take a look.

A Window Into Science 2021

Have you been missing events and discovering what Chicago has to offer? C2ST is excited to offer three unique behind-the-scenes experiences at Chicagoland’s top science institutions. Take a break from your digital meetings and schoolwork with this opportunity to explore unique collections from Chicago’s top institutions safely from home. Guests will meet guides and curators from Argonne, the Field Museum, and MSI and will be able to ask questions and further explore the exhibits at the end of the guided tours. These events are fully safe, fully online, and fully interactive.  

Mental Help

Our upcoming Mental Help program is about the impact trauma can have on high-risk youths in the time of quarantine. The idea behind this programs (and the overarching Mental Help concept) is not only to talk about mental health issues, but also to provide practical solutions to the problems that may lead to poor mental health in the first place.

The Art & Science of Distilling with Dr. Robert Birnecker

“The origins of whiskey can be traced back to the Medieval monks of both Ireland and Scotland, but now, those two countries make their own distinctive styles of their native spirit. So it is with American whiskey–the original concept may have been imported from far away lands, but some 300 years later, American whiskey…is a product unto itself.” — The American Whiskey Trail

More than just a product, whiskey is cultural touchstone, a generational tradition, a science experiment, and social lubricant all wrapped up in one. These qualities are what make it such a perfect subject for our upcoming chat with Dr. Birnecker

Science & Sandwiches

Depending on your vantage point, certain perspectives in the STEM world have gone unheard or unnoticed. At C2ST, we have a responsibility to shine a light on some of those perspectives. With that in mind, we’re speaking with Dr. Jeanette Bartley (Dean of Academics and Equity at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy) about her unique perspective as a woman of color in science.

Here to There: The History & Future of Chicago’s Transportation

While looking to the future of transportation, it’s vitally important to consider how we arrived at the present. To that end, we’ve paired two Chicago transportation experts with two experts who are focused on the future of transportation! 

How has transit changed over the years? How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way we use transit? How will emerging technologies allow us to modify and enhance the transit systems we have in place? Join us on a tour of Chicago’s transportation systems both past, present, and future to hear answers to these questions and many more.

Our partners

Current is forming a Teacher Advisory Council and looking for Chicago Public High School science teachers to participate. There will be 8 virtual meetings between March and August, approximately 16 hours of commitment, and a $600 stipend is awarded at the completion of the project. The objectives for the Teacher Council are to develop an assessment survey to share with other CPS high school science teachers, and then to brainstorm and provide feedback on a curriculum on some combination of river systems, water quality, water stewardship, awareness of blue economy and exploring college and career paths. If you are interested in joining, please email Miranda Kerr with what you would like to bring to the teacher council and the school where you teach. They only have space for a couple teachers, and are looking for representatives from high schools across the city.

Here are some other upcoming events and programs:

What we’re reading/watching/playing

I also just finished reading The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai which follows the story of a beekeeper in a North African village. It’s a great blending of history, parable, and the biology of honey bees!

Sasha, Executive Director

“I’ve been reading Rise of the Necrofauna, which is a book about the science, ethics and morals of bringing back extinct animals. It sounds pretty Jurassic Park–which, of course, it is. Sadly, it seems nearly impossible to get enough DNA to bring back dinosaurs, but animals more recently extinct could be a real possibility. Actually, after seeing those movies, maybe it’s best we don’t recreate T. Rex.”

Alex, Manager of Programs and Engagement


Thanks for spending part of your day with us. And remember, as our very own Alex Galassini put it to us this week, “technically, freezers are particle decelerators.” We’ll see you next week. — C2ST Staff

Have a tip or something you’d like to see us talk about in the newsletter? Or just a general question/comment/concern? You can reach us at info@c2st.org.
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