2020 – Inaugural Burning Flipside Science Fair


Inaugural Burning Flipside Science Fair


Following this year’s theme, the Sacred and the Propane, the Flipside Science Fair seeks to merge art with science by encouraging hands-on experimentation and citizen science.

The first annual Flipside Science Fair will be on Saturday, May 23rd. This grant would fund four science experiments to be displayed during the fair and 30 tri-folds for citizen scientists to participate.

During the Science Fair, the announcer will interview scientists on their projects. Each science project will have an associated tri-fold to explain it – tri-folds will be available for Flipizens at the burn, and will additionally be distributed during a Church Night at the warehouse. Additionally, graph paper and decorative materials will be provided to enhance the art of the boards. Once the science projects have been rated by an independent peer review committee, the announcer will hand out ribbons. The tri-folds will cost around $90.

The first experiment involves monitoring water purity at three sites along the San Gabriel River throughout the event to examine how dirty hippies are. Dr. Jiggles will bring a field microscope that will be available for Flipizens throughout the burn. Samples of the San Gabriel River will be collected and tested for enteric bacteria using the Coliscan water monitoring kit. A graph of poop germs over time will be presented. The water testing kit and microscopy slides will cost around $90.

Secondly, a geologist will present a set of UV reactive rocks that glow under a blacklight. Any nerd-inclined burner may wonder, where is UV found in nature? How does it create the dope light effects and what natural materials that aren’t found in glow sticks found? To display the rocks in their best light, a black diorama-style box outfitted with LED UV lights studded on two sides and mirrors on the opposite walls will be constructed. The rock set and lit blackbox will cost $120.

The third experiment involves reverse spherification. Essentially these are sciencey jello shots; alcohol and alginate will form a self-contained sphere that can be consumed. The reverse spherification experiment will cost around $60.

In a similar vein, three liters of liquid nitrogen will allow Flipizens to quickly freeze their beverages, providing hands-on instruction regarding matter phase transitions. Obviously the liquid nitrogen will be tightly controlled by the scientist, who will personally enforce a perimeter and provide safety goggles and gloves. The nitrogen experiment will cost about $185.

In addition to the above projects, the Science Fair will be publicized in-person at the warehouse and online. A 30-second advertisement has been scripted and will be shot and distributed to the Flipizens Facebook group by March the 15th. Additionally, the Science Fair will be announced at the Warehouse on March the 11th. This will be a fine Burn for science!

Will it need power?


If it will need power, what is your power plan?

Does the piece incorporate flame effects, moveable pieces, and/or is it climbable?


If it does incorporate flame effects, moveable pieces, and/or is climbable what is your safety plan? [(Note: if flame effects are used, your project will be subject to inspection by the Burnable Art Lead, who has final say if your project will burn during the event).]

As stated before, the liquid nitrogen experiment will be tightly controlled. No other experiment should necessitate a safety plan.

Have you completed any other large scale art projects? (In this media? Where and when? How did the project go? Do you have pictures or recordings?)

No, but I am a professor of psychiatry at Dell Medical, meaning that I literally make science for a living. I should be unusually well-equipped to help Flipizens prepare cool projects for the science fair. Multiple members of our camp are scientists, engineers, or science communicators and have participated in public science fairs before. Obviously, in this art grant I am representing myself as a private citizen, not the Dell Medical School. Nonetheless, check the Dell Medical directory if you want proof:

How much money do you need? (Up to $575) We are looking for a thorough itemized budget and the amount of grant money you are requesting.Please include a reasonably researched estimate of the cost of the materials you expect to need.

We request a total of $515. However, clearly, each of the experiments are modular. If only some funds are available for specific experiments, that would be agreeable.

The trifolds and graph paper will cost $90.
Two E. Coli/Coliform bacteria water testing kits will cost $90
The geology display case will cost $100.
The spherification experiment will cost $50.
3 gallons of liquid nitrogen will cost $185.

If you want to upload something for the budget you can do that here:

What is your timeline detailing the planning, creation, installment, and removal of your project?

While the microscopy experiment will be available throughout the burn, the remaining experiments will be presented from 6 to 10 on Saturday night, after which point it will be the prerogative of each scientist to dispose of their experiment. Anything flammable that is left at Science camp past 10 on Saturday night will be tossed into the effigy. Other remains of abandoned experiments will be removed by Science Camp leads.

Optional but encouraged: detailed drawings, CAD files/SketchUp documents, sketches, or other graphic illustrations of your creative concept.

We would like the artists to give community workshops outside of Flipside. Do you think you have a workshop idea that could be provided to the community? If so, please tell us what it is.

I could present social science or statistical lectures at any point to the community. I would be qualified to present (for example):

• Bayesian statistics for your grandma
• LGBTQ+ specific trauma and mental health
• Measuring the invisible: A brief discussion of psychometrics
• Literacy for individuals who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing

Among many others. Additionally Dr. Jiggles could present:
• Ecological surveys of wildlife
• Testing local water supplies
• Identifying insects

If the Ignition Philter members would like a specific workshop that I would be qualified to present on, I would be pleased to prepare it.

By applying for this grant you agree that if given the funds you plan to:

Work to compete your project by Flipside, Save and provide receipts of materials greater than or equal to grant amount by 07/25/20. If you do not provide this information you be disqualified from receiving a grant in the future., Complete a follow up report so we can learn

You may upload photos/recording of past projects here *You must have a Google account to do so.

We will be having the 2021 Ignition Philter fundraiser after the fall town hall (usually held in late September/ early October.) Would you be willing to bring the piece back for that event?


Have you received funding from any other entity or regional for this piece previously? If so, who and how much?