An Oculus earthquake simulator, a 3D-printed miniature drone, a solar-powered umbrella, pH paintings, a weather-forecasting necklace. It's easy to be enamored of the whimsical prototypes created during China's first Science Hack Day in Shanghai. But the true whimsy of Science Hack Day is not about what is created but who the creators are and how they inspire others. Over the course of the weekend in a Shanghai incubator space, kids, parents, scientists, artists and technologists joined forces to play with science and prototype ideas. Some of the participants were well-embedded in China's growing maker culture, while others were more new to the prototyping crowd — but the open-ended and slightly chaotic-by-design Science Hack Day was certainly new to everyone. What emerged was more than just wired circuit boards and festering petri dishes — it was also people, children and adults alike, who not only became empowered to contribute to science, but truly enjoyed just playing with science and seeing where wacky ideas led.
All photos courtesy Ariel Waldman. Check out the entire set of photos from Science Hack Day Shanghai.
Ariel Waldman is the global instigator of Science Hack Day, a 48-hour-all-night event where anyone excited about making weird, silly or serious things with science comes together in the same physical space to see what they can prototype within 24 consecutive hours. Anyone can organize a Science Hack Day in their city — a how-to guide is available at http://sciencehackday.org/howto. Last month, Ariel reported from the first Science Hack Day in Colombia. Next month, she'll be hailing from Madagascar.