Monday, June 1, 2020

Holidays Science Aficionados Celebrate

Everyone can grasp what National Donut Day is all about. But for STEM nerds, there are some special days that are all their own. Check out these holidays science aficionados celebrate, fire up your calculators (or, for you purists, your slide rules), and glory in geekhood for a while.

March 14

You already know, right? National Pi Day. This one was so obvious, but did you know that this day even has its own website? March 14 is also Einstein’s birthday.

April 25

The Human Genome Research Institute touts National DNA Day on April 25. This is a day to study and celebrate the pursuit of genetic research. Scientists encourage non-scientists to learn more about what makes each person unique at the genetic level.

May 20

National Metrology Day celebrates the science of measurement, which, as any STEM nerd worth their lab scale knows, includes the study of uncertainty. Two, four, six, eight—everybody calibrate! Seriously, metrologists and calibration professionals keep the scales honest and know the answer to “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” Well, maybe not the “Kenneth” part, but still.

October 9

Get small with National Nanotechnology Day. Selected in celebration of the nanometer scale (10-9 meters), this day celebrates advances in the science of tiny things. Celebrate with a 100 billion nanometer dash! Check for more fun activities at the nano level.

October 23

Speaking of measurement, let’s hear it for Avogadro’s number (6.02x1023)! Without this measure, chemistry simply wouldn’t happen. This is a day of celebration for anyone who can recite the periodic table from memory. Give yourself bonus points for knowing the atomic weight of each element. The magic happens when elements combine into compounds with a calculable molecular mass. Wow, we could do this all day!

May 5, 2025

Math fiends, this is a day for you, and you will already have deduced that this is National Square Root Day. You’ll probably get a few of these in your lifetime, but to celebrate them all, you have to live for at least a century.

Black Hole Friday

NASA wants to take your mind off shopping on the day after Thanksgiving for long enough to contemplate the mysteries of the universe. Take a break from spending this Friday, November 27, and instead look for interesting discoveries about the most confounding astronomical phenomena on NASA’s website.

Computer Science Education Week

Anyone can organize an Hour of Code any day of the year, and computer science education is so important it gets a whole week. This year, the event takes place December 7-13. If the pandemic teaches us anything good, it is that the world working from home (and working anywhere else) runs on code. Celebrate computer science and engineering in December, and help the world have a better year in 2021.

There are several online calendars where you can find holidays for science aficionados and events devoted to multiple STEM pursuits. Check your birthday, or just tomorrow, to see if you were born on a science-related day.