New Season of Science on Screen Hopes to Inspire Community

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - Gold Town Nickelodeon Theater teams up with Juneau Public Libraries for grant-funded film showings coupled with expert-led discussions on science topics.

    As part of a grant awarded by Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to communities that show a need for science-related programming, Gold Town and the Juneau Public Libraries were awarded $8,500 to put together three or more events. Juneau's own Nickelodeon was chosen alongside 36 other independent cinemas, museums, and community groups with film programs where $255,000 was awarded in total. The foundation started in 2011 and has since awarded 166 grants to 72 non-profit cinemas across the country.

    The first event will start on November 7th with a talk by author Jonathan White on his new book "Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean" paired with a free screening of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 classic film The Black Stallion, which is based off a book of the same name by Walter Farley. The talk will be hosted at the downtown library starting at 5:30pm and then the film screening will start at the Gold Town Nickelodeon at 7pm.

    The combined evening events are being titled "Wind, Place, or Shoal: Racing Tides Across the Globe", which brings together White’s fascinating journey of discovery around the globe to witness the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world with the beautifully filmed story of an Arabian stallion and a boy shipwrecked on a deserted island off the northern coast of Africa where they learn to trust each other and once rescued race the fastest horses in the world. In his book, White also demonstrates how, in this age of drastic global climate shifts, tides offer critical insight into the planet’s future. White is a writer, conservationist, sailor, and educator and is also the author of Talking on the Water: Conversations about Nature and Creativity and his writing has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, The Sun, Sierra, and Orion magazine.

    On March 27th, the Gold Town Theater and the Juneau Public Libraries will also be participating in the National Evening of Science on Screen. At this event, speaker Ted Willke, Chief Technology Officer for Intel Labs, will discuss how drone technology is advancing marine mammal research through non-invasive collection of exhalation which provides information on overall health and brain mapping of humpback and killer whales.

    Additional Science on Screen programs in Juneau are being planned for February and late spring.

    The purpose of the Science on Screen program is to inspire in audience members an increased appreciation for STEM topics—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Though STEM-related occupations are becoming an increasingly large (and well-paid) portion of the U.S. labor force, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States lags behind many other developed nations in scientific literacy. According to the Nation’s Report Card, released by the U.S. Department of Education, only 22 percent of American high school seniors performed at or above the level of proficiency in a 2015 test of science literacy. And results from the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which tested the scientific literacy of 15-year-olds around the world, ranked the U.S. 24th out of 71 countries, behind Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Germany, and many others.


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