Holiday Lecture 2021

Holiday Lecture 2021: Let it Flow

On SaturdayDecember 11, 2021, PCCM will celebrate its annual Holiday Lecture: Let it Flow: A Festival about Fluids
The virtual event will be led by Prof. Howard Stone.
For registration and more information about next year's lecture, please visit the Holiday Lecture Website

The 2021 "virtual" event was a great success with 447 families registered (an audience of 1000+). This year's topic was a celebration of fluids! Fluids are a part of our everyday lives - you can think about the water that flows from a faucet, the syrup you pour on pancakes, the winds and rains that are part of big storms. You can think about the air that flows out of the hole in a flat tire, or the hot candle wax you pour in a mold. We investigated some of these common fluids that are all around us, and then we went into the lab and checked out some not-so-everyday fluids that behaved very strangely. The presentation was designed for children ages 7 and up and their families, but all were welcomed to join and learn something new!

The 2020 "virtual" event had 426 families registered (an audience of 1000+). One demo that was super fun was testing how a rubber ball bounced when warm versus when cold. The ball was bounced at room temperature first, then after being frozen in liquid nitrogen, the results were compared. Additionally, the ball was hit with a hammer at both room temperature and after being frozen with liquid nitrogen. The results were shown with a super slow-motion camera so that the families could see how the ball deformed itself and molded shape to bounce back! The kids absolutely loved when the ball was hit with a hammer after being frozen in liquid nitrogen, and shattered into multiple pieces. Not something you see every day! We thank all of the families who participated, and wish everyone a Happy Holiday!”

The Holiday Lecture series is modeled on a famous set of presentations first given to children a century ago as part of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in London. The lectures highlight science in an engaging and fun forum for children age 7 and up. This event, which is free and open to the public, brings science to the community through experiments, audience participation, and highlights from current research. The lecture is a collaborative effort of the NSF MRSEC at Harvard and the NSF PCCM at Princeton.

This annual event is free and open to the public (all ages welcomed). 

Previous Lectures:

2021 (virtual) "Let it Flow: A Festival about Fluids"

2020 (virtual) "A Materials Wonderland" (link is external)

2019 "Ice Cream for Science: A Legen-DAIRY Experience!"

2018 "The Science of Pizza: It's a Little Cheezy"

2017 "Hold Your Temper! Celebrating the Science of Chocolate"

2016 "Science in a Bubble: Illuminating Interfaces"

2015 "A Grain of Salt: Isn't it Ionic?" (Event Photos / Program Booklet PDF / Announcement Flyer PDF)

2014 "DNA: A Detective Story" (Program Booklet PDF / Announcement Flyer PDF)

2013 "Faster than the Blink of an Eye"

2012 "Let There be Light: A Celebration of Color"

2011 "Powerful Potential: The Gift of Energy"

2010 "Good Vibrations: How We Communicate"

2009 "Germs! A Detective Story"