San Diego, CA—March 17, 2014—If you can’t make it to the museum, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is expanding its programs across the county. This month and beyond, the Fleet will offer a range of new programs for science learning outside of the museum walls, from stargazing to casual Q&A sessions with local scientists at neighborhood bars.

Science and technology are all around us. With this in mind, the Fleet recognizes that scientific education should not be limited to just the museum or classroom setting, and is working to develop increased opportunities for engagement in unexpected places around the county.

“Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning in science, and to achieve that, the Fleet needs to be a presence not just in the park, but throughout the community,” says Dr. Steven Snyder, executive director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. “We need to create experiences that are relevant and engaging to both children and adults where they live, work and play.”

In addition to delivering interactive learning experiences to hundreds of schools throughout San Diego County each year, the Fleet Science Center’s Education Department regularly leads “Science To Go” programs in various locales, from community centers and libraries to Marine bases and even apartment complexes. Fleet educators offer more than two dozen types of programs—exploring a range of topics from the solar system to genetics, engineering to earth science—that deliver hands-on activities and workshops uniquely designed for kindergarteners through eighth graders.

Starting this month, the Fleet is launching two new community programs, including one especially for the 21-and-up crowd. Here’s an overview of what’s happening in communities across San Diego:

Astronomy Night

Tuesday, March 18, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

This inaugural evening of community star-gazing (in conjunction with the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering) will introduce children and their families to the world above them, and allow them to view it as never before, by bringing astronomers and telescopes directly to them.

The Fleet has arranged for more than a dozen amateur and professional astronomers to set up their telescopes in 10 different locations across San Diego County, including community centers and libraries (visit for a complete list of locations). Astronomy Night will continue as an annual community event coordinated by the Fleet.

Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar

Thursday, March 20, 5:00 – 9:30 p.m. (exact times vary at each bar)

The idea is simple: two scientists are stationed inside a bar and the general public is invited to ask them questions in a low-key setting. The scientists will be easy to spot; just look for the sign that reads: "We are scientists. Ask us anything!"

The official kick-off event is Thursday, March 20 (also in conjunction with the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering), when the Fleet brings 50 scientists to 25 different bars throughout San Diego County (two scientists at each bar) for informal Q&As with bar-goers. More information, including a list of the participating bars and times, is at

In addition to engaging people beyond the Park, Two Scientists enables the Fleet to talk about topics that wouldn’t necessarily work in a gallery presentation. For example, string theory wouldn’t make for the best exhibit, but it makes for surprisingly lively bar conversation. Plus, Two Scientists gives people the unique opportunity to have casual, one-on-one conversations with a scientist.

Two Scientists will continue as an ongoing program held on a quarterly basis at rotating locations throughout the county.

Suds & Science


April 28: Game Changer—How a Computer Game Can Turn You into a Real-Life Hero

(Special event hosted by and in conjunction with the annual conference of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

Launched in January 2014, Suds & Science is an ongoing, free bimonthly event coordinated by the Fleet that brings scientists face-to-face with the general public in a neighborhood bar. Unlike Two Scientists, Suds & Science is a more focused affair; one scientist gives a 15- to 20-minute, fun-yet-informative presentation, which kicks off an extended discussion between the scientist and the audience. Topics vary each time; past topics include the genius of biofuels and the reality of the movie “Her.”

If you think playing video games is bad for your health, think again. Foldit enables ordinary folks to be real-life heroes as they solve scientific puzzles that have long remained a mystery.

Join Brian Koepnick, researcher with the David Baker Lab and the UW Center for Game Science, as he talks about the science behind Foldit, how the game works and what new discoveries have been made by its players. (Try it for yourself and learn more at The event will take place 6:30 – 8 p.m. at a TBD location.

May 12: “Fermentation, Flocculation and Frothy Goodness—Beer Science with White Labs Inc.”

On Monday, May 12, Chris White, Ph.D., president and CEO of White Labs Inc., will talk about brewing microbiology, fermentation fundamentals, distilling and the importance of yeast in creating beer flavors. The event will take place 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Callahan’s Pub & Brewery (8111 Mira Mesa Blvd.) in Mira Mesa.

For complete details on all upcoming events, visit