Bigger, better Neutrino Day set for Saturday, July 13

Steve Rokusek of South Dakota Public Broadcasting assists a young scientist during Neutrino Day 2012. Rokusek returns this year.
Credit: 
Bill Harlan

Lead, S.D.—Neutrino Day, the Sanford Lab’s free science festival, is expanding to downtown Lead this year with a full day of science talks and hands-on activities. It all happens on Saturday, July 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park at the Homestake Visitor Center on Main Street and catch free shuttles to the Sanford Lab (activities 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)  or to downtown Lead (activities from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Four shuttle buses will provide easy access to activities at the Sanford Lab, in downtown Lead and at the Homestake Visitor Center. Most Neutrino Day activities are indoors, so plan to attend, rain or shine.

The headliner for Neutrino Day 2013 is Emmy-nominated astronomer José Francisco Salgado of Chicago’s Adler planetarium, who will speak at 3 p.m. at the Historic Homestake Opera House on Main Street. Salgado also is an experimental photographer and filmmaker, who has photographed more than 30 scientific sites around the world —from the South Pole in Antarctica to the Sanford Lab in Lead, where last year he shot special footage for an upcoming planetarium show on dark matter. Salgado’s films have been presented with live music in 90 concerts in 14 countries, with orchestras such as the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony and San Francisco Symphony. During his Neutrino Day talk, Salgado will showcase his work, including never-before-seen footage from the Sanford Lab. He’ll talk about the creative process he uses to blend art and science.

Activities at the Sanford Lab’s surface campus, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Yates Shaft hoist-room tours (STURDY FOOTWEAR REQUIRED, no open toes)
  • Live, two-way video chats with scientists and rescue personnel a mile underground
  • Wild science demonstrations for kids by “Science Steve” Rokusek of South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
  • Meet scientists, engineers, technicians and rescue personnel

Four science talks on Main Street

  •  “Biofuels and Deep Life” at 9:30 a.m. at the Homestake Opera House. South Dakota School of Mines biologist Rajesh Sani on how organisms deep underground at the Sanford Lab could help make fuel
  • “Something to Sneeze About” at noon at Lead’s Own Bumpin’ Buffalo restaurant at 305 Main St. State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger discussing hot topics in health during this Science Café sponsored by South Dakota Public Broadcasting (Lunch available. Doors open 11 a.m.)
  • “Dark Matter at the Sanford Lab” at 1:30 p.m. at the Homestake Opera House. Brown University physicist Rick Gaitskell of the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) presenting an insider’s look at the search for mysterious “dark matter” 4,850 feet underground.
  • “Science through Art and Music” at 3 p.m. at the Homestake Opera House. Astronomer José Francisco Salgado. (See above.)

Activities on Main Street, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • “Into the Dark: Art Exploring Dark Matter” at the Lead Deadwood Art Center. Twenty-two prominent South Dakota painters, sculptors and photographers present original works with a physics theme.
  • “Deep Photography” at the Lead Deadwood Art Center. Photographers Steve Babbitt of Black Hills State University and Matt Kapust of the Sanford Lab exhibit images from a deep underground laboratory.
  • Black Hills Mining Museum will offer free admission during Neutrino Day
  • Free hands-on activities, experiments and displays for all ages, at the Hearst Library, at the Historic Homestake Opera House (upstairs, downstairs and in the lobby) and at the Homestake Visitor Center.

Major support for Neutrino Day comes from South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, Black Hills Power and the Lead Chamber of Commerce. Cosponsors include Simpsons Printing, Goldcorp Inc., KEVN, New Rushmore Radio, the Lead Deadwood Art Center, the Hearst Library in Lead, Black Hills Mining Museum, the Historic Homestake Opera House, Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

For more information about Neutrino Day, go to www.sanfordlab.org or contact Sanford Lab Communications Director Bill Harlan at bharlan@sanfordlab.org