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What would happen if a science fair came to life?

Saturday & Sunday, April 21 & 22, 2018
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Special events on Friday, April 20

Microchipped honey bee
Microchipped honeybees work on solving Colony Collapse Disorder.

With three days of science activities, the Unearth Science festival celebrates science and nature in ways that will encourage you to explore. Participate in drop-in programs, timed demonstrations, free programs, and special events.

View the event schedule

Scientist and Poet
Dr. Illingworth & Mr. Simpson facilitate a poetry slam

Science poetry slam

Experience science through our Science Poetry Slam on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) Sign up for Botanical Balladry during the weekend and see your work performed on Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m. 

Dig deeper

Go in-depth with Garden staff and scientists and explore topics from forensics to the fossil record. Discover the birds and the bees (and bats and butterflies as pollinators). Contribute to a crowd-sourced poem about science. Find out how to grow plants on Mars. Measure a plant’s breath. Help our scientists tag a bee. Use soil science forensics to solve a crime.

Get outside

Explore spring beauty and the universe with experts from the Garden and Adler Planetarium. Gather in the Nature Play Garden to look through a telescope at the moon and evening sky—and possibly the bright planet, Venus. Canceled because of weather

Boy in Vaughn Bell's biosphere
A bug's-eye view in a biosphere

Get into the environment

Peek into hanging terrariums April 20–22 in Burnstein Hall and get an ant’s-eye view of nature with artist Vaughn Bell’s biospheres in Local Homes: Nature in Your Backyard. Discuss the works with the artist and scientist Pati Vitt on Saturday, April 21.


Don't miss participating in these events:

Communicate Science


Learn how to get the word out about science, from the experts at our symposium, Reaching New Audiences.

Be a part of the sky

Capture and share photos of the sky in a collaborative art composition with SkyDay. Come together across cultures and borders to protect it for the benefit of all by tweeting your sky-only photo to #SkyDayProject #SkyDayChicago. Join us at 11 a.m. April 21 on the Esplanade and throughout the weekend.

Montage of sky photos


Admission is free for the Unearth Science festival. Regular parking fees apply; Garden members park free every day.
Unearth Science festival is generously supported by

BaxterITWNorthshore University Health SystemUL