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Use the tabs below to see the list of Curiosity Stations from past fairs.  We recruit presenters from a wide range of disciplines, bringing new content to the event each year.  The fair is different every year!  Also check out these news stories about past events.


The Art of Brains, Bones, and Other Body Parts

Have you ever held a human heart, felt the texture of the lungs, or traced the contours of the brain? Visit our station to explore these organs and learn more about "hidden anatomy" in the famous works of renaissance artists Michelangelo and Botticelli. Express your own inner artist with an assortment of art supplies and body parts that will be sure to inspire creativity!

  • April Hatcher, Katie Salmeron, Jessica Newton, Tanner Anderson, Patty Doyle, and Luke Bradley, Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine

Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning

We invite you to plant a seedling! Potting a plant allows you to focus your attention. Gardening can reduce negative thoughts and feelings and make you feel better. It also is shown to increase feelings of peacefulness and contentment. Keeping a plant in your work or study space has been shown to improve focus and productivity. They also help ease stress, promote feelings of wellbeing, and have even been shown to boost self-esteem.

  • Hannah Brewer, Emily Koyagi, Bassema Abu-Farsakh, and Meghan Haddix, BH Well, College of Nursing

Can they build it? Yes they can!

We will be highlighting the versatility of cellulose producing bacteria. These bacteria are a crowd favorite in the beverage industry (kombucha) and have been used in industries spanning from textiles to electronics (and everything in between!). Come see (feel and taste) the magic of these microbial powerhouses!

  • Kendall Corbin, Sara Valdimarsdottir and Hanna Lefevers, Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology, College of Agriculture

Can you haiku?

We have volunteers to help you compose your haiku and add it to our board.  A haiku made up of only three lines. The first line has 5 syllables, then 7 for the second and 5 for the last. 

  • Oliver Leaman, Isaiah Henderson, Jr.,  and Madison Bechard, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

Circus Lab

The Circus Lab is the campus hub for interdisciplinary academic research and activity involving the circus arts. Our station at the Curiosity Fair will allow us to demonstrate and teach some basic circus skills such as aerial arts, juggling, and acro balancing. We will also have some handouts and information sheets describing some of the research and pedagogical projects affiliated with the circus lab, such as PHI 193: Circus and Philosophy.

  • Meg Wallace, Kylee Pipgrass, Alexis Allen, and Katherine Digiovanni, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

The Curiosity of Magic and Illusion

Magician John Shore in an exploration of close-up magic. Feel free to ask questions and see how the limitation of our perception allows our minds to invent false realities within the world around us.

Curious Critters

Are you afraid of spiders, scorpions, or cockroaches? Come face your fears at the Office of the State Entomologist's station at the UK Curiosity Fair! Also stop by to see collections of other insects, such as butterflies, beetles, and bees, and to learn more about invasive pests that threaten our country's farms and forests.

  • Seth Spinner and Janet Lensing, Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

The Glow Below: A fluorescent journey underground

Experience earth and environmental science below the surface in this multisensory experience. See how water contaminants are traced underground and find out what other surprises caves may hold.

  • Summer Brown and Chelsea Parada, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Grow a Mushroom!

Come see how to grow edible mushrooms at home! Learn about the environmental, cultural, and culinary importance of mushrooms and explore how liquid and solid mushroom inoculums can be safely prepared using store bought mushrooms. Pick up recipes, try some samples, and learn about growing your own mushrooms at home!

  • Tyler Barzee, Norbert Bokros, Zachary Byrd, and Virginia L. Verges, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and Horticulture

Guess the pH

What is pH? And what’s its role in food? Assign pH levels to common foods and win a prize!

  • Kandice Williams and Melissa Morgan, Department of Animal & Food Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Making Magnetic Poetry/ Poesía magnética

Let your Spanish loose!  Come and explore your creativity with a magnetic poetry board and explore your options for adventure with Study Abroad, Service Learning and Independent Research opportunities through Hispanic Studies.

  • Heather Campbell-Speltz and Ruth Brown, Hispanic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Map or be mapped! Playing with geospatial technologies.

Geospatial data and cartographic technologies have become pervasive in our private and professional lives. This Curiosity Fair station provides participants with a variety of mapping exercises that will provide insight into how we represent people, places, and events on maps. From the local to the global, we can harness the tools that explain and make our world.

  • Richard Donohue and Boyd Shearer, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences

MEGA Lung- Smoking and Vaping education

Come walk through the MEGA Inflatable Lungs which features examples of COVID-19, vaping, lung cancer at various stages, asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and emphysema. Learn how to keep your lungs breathing easier.”

  • Amy Steinkuhl, The Kentucky Cancer Program
  •  KDPH Quit Line, ACTION Program

Meteorites and their amazing stories

Hold a piece of an asteroid, the Moon, and even the Planet Mars in your hand! Meet the largest meteorite ever found in the state of Kentucky! See the crust of a long-destroyed protoplanet older than the Earth itself! Hear the amazing stories that meteorites have to tell about the origin and history of our planet, the Solar System, and the universe.

  • Kent Ratajeski, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Ethan Davis, Kentucky Geological Survey

Microbes Everywhere!!

We will have a couple demos: The first will show how microbes are transmitted from person to person. The second will allow participants to use a microscope and view waterbears and the third will be a short game focusing on surprising facts about microbes.

  • Jamila Tucker, Zaria Elery, Andrew Krusenstjerna, Nerina Jusufovic, Tatianna Castro Padovani, Erica Phillips, Caitlyn Smith, Madison Flory, Chase Heim, and Josh Nowacki, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, College of Medicine

Physics Demonstrations!

We have several simple yet curious physics demonstrations, which include:

•    Balancing of center of mass

•    Magnetic levitation

•    Lifting objects due to atmospheric pressure

•    The path of light through an optical fibre spiral

•    And more!

  • James Nick Henderson, Shweta Jain, Erica Lengyel, Physics Department, College of Arts & Sciences

Predatory Plants

Did you know that plants can be carnivores? Venus flytraps and pitcher plants are two types of carnivorous plants that obtain nutrients by trapping and consuming bugs. We will have both these plants on display at our station, as well as a model of the anatomy of a pitcher plant that shows how it consumes insects. Come and visit our station to learn more about these amazing predatory plants!

  • Anna Baloh, Katie Taliaferro, Susie Cerulli, Isabel Wolf, and Abbie Verst, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment  

Public Speaking Without an Audience

Public speaking requires a complex set of skills, but competent delivery of verbal and nonverbal messages requires presenters to rehearse their presentation. However, with nearly 1.3 million college students completing some version of the required introductory public speaking course each year in the United States, classroom practice time must occur outside the class and students seldom gather outside of class to rehearse. Presenters are then left alone to rehearse their presentation. Virtual reality (VR) provides a convenient method for practicing public speaking while alone. This research explored how presenters nonverbally engaged with a VR simulation that replicated an exact copy of the audience and classroom environment. This was done through the creation of a Python program capable of the detecting various movements of the presenters, with the assistance of the opensource software OpenPose. OpenPose can record the locations of 25 individual keypoints over the body and provide data to analyze the speaker's movement computationally. Preliminary results demonstrated that presenters engaged in virtual reality in an identical manner to those nonverbal behaviors displayed in physical reality. This supports the notion of practicing public speaking without “real” audiences. Our program demonstrates the ability to detect movements of persons in VR and can be further developed to detect more nonverbal behaviors.

  • Austin Morris and Jerzy Jaromczyk, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering
  • Luke LeFebvre, School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information

Scholars@UK - Finding Research Across Campus

Interactive display to find innovation and promote curiosity of thought into the research occurring across campus. The Scholars@UK platform includes all types of research, from bench science to arts and humanities. Participants will be able to ask questions and find UK researchers working in those areas.

  • Baron Wolf and Stephanie Thompson, Office of the Vice President for Research

The Secret Lives of Pests

We are all familiar with the insects that bother us: cockroaches, termites, and even bed bugs! But there are a lot of behaviors these insects depict that are rarely observed. Come visit our booth and watch termites follow paths, learn the love language of German cockroaches, and even get to hold a Hisser!

  • Isabelle Lucero, DeVries lab, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

The Sensation and Science of Sketching without Seeing

Our exhibit will be related to the proprioception of blind contour drawings: drawing an object from life without physically looking at the drawing as it is being made.  Participants will have ~ 1-2 minutes to make a blind contour drawing of an object we provide before they are stopped and allowed to view their contour drawing.  Afterward, we will explain the neuroscience of proprioception and hand-eye coordination using preprepared artwork and scientific equipment (vortex agitators) to provide a fun demonstration of impairing proprioception.

  • Panhavuth Phe, Ryan Willard, Haroon Ali, Bruno Athie Teruel, Bethany Ison, and Chris Rice, the UKY Collective of Fine Artists and Scientists, Lewis Honors College

Statistical learning with M&M's

A hands-on introduction into how statisticians and data scientists move from data collection to data exploration to statistical modeling and learning. Attendees will perform data collection (with M&M's!), participate in the creation of a dynamic, tactile histogram, and interact with a well-known online machine learning classification model.

  • Anna Smith, Anushka Karkelanova, Melissa Pittard, and Katie Thompson, Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences

Style transfer photo booth—meet artistic machine learning

Select a painting and step in front of the camera to see how you look in the styles of artists such as Munch, Hokusai, and van Gogh. Find out how we can use machine learning with artificial neural networks to apply the style of one image to another.

  • Andrew Tapia and Jerzy Jaromczyk, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering

"Talk Muscle To Me"- Collaboration Research Within the College of Health Sciences

This curiosity station will highlight ongoing research in the College of Health Sciences. Many of our projects involve collecting data on muscle- both at the macro level (whole muscle) or at the micro level (fiber size). Muscle is obviously important for movement and physical function but also has far reaching connections to overall health and health outcomes. We will have various demos to show how muscle function and muscle quality are measured and how you stack up using quick techniques to assess handgrip strength, body composition, and muscle activation. In addition, we will give you an inside look of what we see under the microscope and how we create 3D renderings based on how you move.

  • Douglas Long, The College of Health Sciences Office of Research and Scholarship
  • Brian Noehren, Human Performance and Biomotion Labs
  • Nick Heebner & Kyle Kosik, Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI)
  • Chris Fry, Center for Muscle Biology (CMB)

UK's Amazing Axolotl Salamanders

Live axolotl salamanders from the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center at UK will be showcased to spur curiosity about their amazing regenerative ability and color variation.

  • Randal Voss, Maddie Thomas, Dylan Payne, and Nathan Duong, Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, College of Medicine

Veterinary Pathology: A hands-on interactive experience!

Veterinary pathology is the study of animal diseases. Some diseases are easily transmissible to other animals as well as transmissible to people (zoonotic), therefore veterinary pathology is a very important specialty within the veterinary medical field. Providing animal pathology lab exhibits allows participants the opportunity to indulge in an interactive hands-on experience within a non-traditional career path of veterinary medicine. Patrons are exposed to and educated about pathology, veterinary medicine, and the various specialties available for aspiring veterinarians as well as those interested in STEM careers.

  • Uneeda Bryant, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment 

Visual motor reaction time

This demo will highlight some of the unique instrumentation used at the Sports Medicine Research Institute to measure an individual's ability to respond to visual stimuli. Specifically, we will ask participants to extinguish a series of LED light sensors with their hands and feet as rapidly as possible. This methodology will challenge visual perception, cognition, and motor function. Similar tests are used in our laboratory to examine sport readiness after injury. We will provide real time performance scores and will keep a leaderboard throughout the event.

  • Matthew Hoch, Danielle Torp, Ke'La Porter, Kyle Kosik, and Nick Heebner, Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition, College of Health Sciences

Visualizing Gender

Gender is something that shapes our everyday lives in countless ways—the opportunities we have, the expectations others have of us, how we present ourselves to the world. Join us for a sneak peak of how we make sense of gender (as well as race, class, and sexuality) in our classes, from pop culture images to the UN’s global Gender Equality Index. In a few short minutes, we’ll make you think, possibly laugh, and encourage to consider how YOU “do gender.” 

  • Melissa Stein and colleagues, Gender & Women's Studies Department, College of Arts & Sciences

Visualizing Math Research

We will present several interactive activities related to undergraduate summer research projects in mathematics. Examples include mathematical puzzles, 3d printed polytopes, and quilts inspired by modern algebra.

  • Christopher Manon and Dave Jensen, Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

What makes a Kentucky Author?

Join the UK Libraries King Library Press and rare books unit for an exploration of who Kentucky authors are from the past through the present and the various ways their works have been shared with readers.

  • Colleen Barrett and Frank Jones, UK Libraries

What we can learn from teeth and skulls

Mammal skulls, especially their teeth, tell much about each species’ ecology, diet, locomotion, and everything else of the animal’s ecology. By examining teeth, we can determine if the species' diet is omnivorous, herbivorous, or carnivorous. The teeth tell us if the skull belongs to a leaf eater, grass-eater, bamboo eater, fish eater, on and on. The story teeth and skulls tell are so clear that an anatomist or paleontologist can examine a small piece of jaw or a single tooth and build an entire biological story about the creature who owned the tooth or jaw. If you stop by the “skull table” you will see first-hand if this is the case! You will gain enough knowledge in just a few minutes at the skull table to impress friends and family of how much you too can tell others of the amazing biology of a creature from a single tooth you might happen upon when hiking in Nature.

  • James J Krupa, Ellie Tierney, and Jules Stowe, Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Wildcat Service Dogs: Try a Puzzle Race against our Pups!

We will be describing what our program is about and what benefits puzzle toys and other mental stimulation games have on dogs, and why we use them for our dogs. We will also be showing how we make training fun and engaging for our dogs by using toys with certain commands such as “tug” or “get it.” Finally, we will offer a fun game where people can race against our dogs to see who can complete a simple puzzle first.

  • Jen Martin, Lillian Penird, and Keri Wilmot , Wildcat Service Dogs

You have some genomes stuck in your teeth: Extracting DNA from food with common household materials

All living organisms contain DNA (or sometimes RNA, depending on your definition of life!), and the first step of modern genomic science is to extract genomes for analysis. Most people assume that genetic research can only be performed by specialists in a lab, but anyone can take their first steps down the path of science with five free minutes and $5 worth of materials from a local supermarket. Join us to rapidly extract DNA from your favorite food product, and leave with a special genome neckless to show your friends that science is for everyone (especially for people who eat food)!

  • Lou Hirsch, Benjamin P. Clements, Michael J. Schlueter, Botshelo Angoma,  Malayna P. Pope, and Megan Dakoske, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment 


Curiosity Stations from 2021 are listed below.  See photos from 2021 in this Google album.

A Progressive Poem

Add a line to a poem which will be a creation of many voices. It's a bit like the old game of "Gossip." Where the poem ends will be far from where it began. This is to bring attention to the Creative Writing program at UK.

-- Betsy Packard MFA-Creative Writing-Poetry

Analyzing Data for the Public Interest

The UK Martin School of Public Policy and Administration offers a new undergraduate major and minor in Public Policy. At this station, students will explore how policy analysts use data to answer questions that matter to individuals and communities. The demonstration will expose students to publicly-available data and common data analysis tools.

-- Cory Curl and Brooke Kuerzi

UK Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Anthropology? What's that?

Curious about what anthropologists do? Come use Google Maps / Earth to take a virtual tour of the place where I conducted research on mass incarceration and livelihoods in the southern U.S. (Louisiana). Stay to interact with the material culture and archeological artifacts that can spark curiosity about the full range of activities and research in which anthropologists engage.

-- Lee Bullock, Kathrine Napora and Heather Worne, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology

Art & Science of Homebrewed Beer

In this Curiosity Station, demonstrators will be performing all of the steps required to make beer at home, including steeping grain in hot water to produce a sugary liquid called wort, boiling wort and hops to sanitize and bitter the future beer, and cooling the wort to prepare it for fermentation by yeast (which will not be done on site!). Explainers will be on hand to talk about the art and science involved in making a cold brew at home.

Ryan Naseman, College of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice & Science

Sam Franklin, College of Medicine, Neuroscience

Clay Bunn, College of Medicine, Pediatrics

Drew Speer, Substance Use Priority Research Area (SUPRA)

BH WELL: Behavioral Health & Wellness

With increasing conversations about mental health, have you ever been curious to learn more? The BH WELL table will offer a chance for you to experience gratitude, grab some goodies, and take the “BH WELL” challenge. Come prepared to offer up your best dance move, meditation pose, or any other pose that shows how YOU like to BH WELL. Whether it’s during a pandemic, prepping for an exam, or just walking through life, we all deserve to BH WELL! The Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team is housed in the UK College of Nursing.

Heather Robertson, BH WELL

Dr. Lee Ann Walmsley, College of Nursing Assistant Professor

Sarret Seng, Nursing PhD student

Claudia Robertson, Occupational Therapy doctoral student

Kylie Pemberton, MS student in Higher Education

Bugs That Bug You

We will have a Cockroach Petting Zoo, where you can come to hold, feed and learn about cockroaches! Have you ever seen a bed bug? After this event you can say that you have! We can show and talk to you about other urban pest species here in Kentucky.

-- Angela Sierras and Zachary DeVries

CAFE, Dept of Entomology


Can you spot Bull-?? Come by and test your ability to detect misinformation, bad data and fake news. Learn about how the field of Biostatistics provides the tools to dismantle misinformation and think clearly when bad actors attempt to undermine our ability to trust information.

-- Amanda Ellis, Heather Bush and Emily Slade

College of Public Health Department of Biostatistics

Curious about the Curiosity Fair?

Want to know more about the Curiosity Fair? Come see members of the planning group at this station, to ask any questions and explore the origins and goal of this annual event.

-- The Curiosity Fair planning group

Disney, Event Planning, Fashion and More!

Want to work as an event/wedding planner, or work for Disney, fashion industry, hotels and resorts, bourbon industry, tourism, retailing, cruises, ...?  Come to know more about these industries!  We will help you explore the career opportunities and get you prepared!  Also, at our station, you will have the opportunity to create your own DIY table centerpiece for weddings by using fresh flowers, tools and more.

--Tracy Lu and Reagan Meade, Retailing & Tourism Management

Elementary Education: School is a fun place to learn and explore!

Come explore with us and see what a fun and engaging day in an elementary classroom can look like- by allowing students to engage in hands on and real life activities and experiments.

-- Joni Meade & Sahar Alameh, College of Education

Emerging Entomologists

Join us as we pin some beautiful insect specimens! Our members all have an abiding love of entomology, the study of insects. We have lots of information about the science and entomology at UK!

-- Kylie Bickler and Erica Knorpp

College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment

Esports: Streaming in a Professional Setting

UKFCU Esports Lounge invites you to learn more about professional streaming opportunities offered on campus. Check out how streaming works, what equipment is available to you, and Esports streaming on campus. Stop by and test it out for yourself.

--Tanya Macias and Elias Conwell

ITS Information Services.

Food Sensory Evaluation

Taste food for science! Taste two food samples then answer some quick and easy questions. Food scientists use sensory evaluations to understand how people interact with their food and the way their senses capture that reaction.

-- Kandice Williams

CAFE, Animal and Food Sciences

From the Field to the Fridge: How Plant Diseases Impact our Lives

Plant Diseases are all around us, but due to our sophisticated agricultural systems and efficient supply chains, Americans rarely suffer severe consequences. However, food spoilage and rots (i.e., post-harvest plant diseases) are still a major source of food waste and are generally unpalatable to most consumers. Aside from being gross and smelly, rotten food is a great opportunity to learn about how different microbes impact our lives by eating our food before we do. This Curiosity Station will share a range of common plant diseases on important crops from field to fridge, and will be staffed with trained plant disease scientists to help answer your plant disease questions.

-- Lou Hirsch, Rachel Sneed, and Caleb Mathias, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Lexington Transformed: Exploring Historical Cartography

Are you curious about how the city of Lexington has changed over time? Through historical maps and aerial imagery, you will gain insights into the evolution of Lexington and UK's campus. You will also have the opportunity to look at different styles of maps and experiment with several cartographic tools.

--Sarah Watson, UK Libraries

Moving Toward a Healthier World

How would you set up a rapid response to a influenza outbreak? Come play an interactive game to see if you can get a village immunized in time and on budget! The Office of Global Health Initiatives will help you explore ways to improve health for people world-wide with interactive maps, interesting facts, and innovative solutions. You can also learn about global health opportunities at UK.

--  Melody Ryan and Craig Borie

International Center Global Health Initiatives

Philosophy and the Examined Life

Philosophy is the search for truth not only about the external world and how to act in it but also about the self. The philosophy booth demonstrates the transformative experience of self-discovery by leading students through a 'cave' of darkness to the light of insight. "Insight" is achieved by talking to philosophy graduate students about how philosophy can open your eyes and ears to the world around you and consequently give you a new understanding of yourself.

-- Department of Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences

Stefan Bird-Pollan

Jaime McCaffrey

Andy Marquis

Nikita Storzhenko

Anthony Casadonte

John Roso

Steven Winterfeldt

Photographing the Dead

Photographing the dead was common in Victorian times but now is regarded as bad taste or morbid. Our course on Death and Dying examines images of the dead and raises issues of whether they should be more acceptable and why they generally are not. A range of diverse photographs will be displayed and discussed. WARNING: this presentation may not be suitable for everyone.

-- Katlyn Napier-Moore, Psychology, A&S and Oliver Leaman, Philosophy, A&S

Physics and Astronomy Rotating Room

While Newton's laws are hard to avoid, things get wacky in an accelerating environment. For example, the Coriolis force is responsible for the counterclockwise rotation of weather patterns in the northern hemisphere. Come and experience centrifugal and Coriolis forces first hand as you sit inside a rotating room and toss things around.

 --Christopher Crawford and Faith Makumbi

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences

Physics Petting Zoo

Come experience the wild wonders of physical phenomena in the universe with this collection of hands-on interactive demonstrations. The physics petting zoo was curated by Prof. Joseph Straley.

-- Gabija Ziemyte and Anna McElhannon

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences

STEAM: The Symphony of the Cell

Proteins - mutations - variants - diseases ... all terms that have recently made it into our everyday vocabulary. In this STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, and Mathematics) interactive demonstration, you will learn about how proteins function in the healthy and diseased cell using data sonification. Designed to be a virtual teaching tool, protein amino acid sequences will be converted to notes and beats to introduce these molecular biology concepts to students of all ages.

-- Luke Bradley, Medicine/Neuroscience

-- Michael Baker, School of Music

-- Timothy Moyer, School of Music

-- UK students:  Emily Guerrero, Kayla Horne, Sydney Daniels, Andrea Hernandez, Alexis Smith, Cassidy Andruskzka, Jada Covington, McKenzie Dunbar, Emme Bradley, Elizabeth Rice

-- High School START Program Apprentice: Lordina Mensah

Telekinesis: Move Objects with Neural Signals

Have you ever tried to move an object with your mind? Come try our claw that's controlled completely by signals from your motor and sensory neurons. If this isn't interesting enough, we will also have a real human brain and spinal cord!

--NeuroCATS (undergraduate student organization, Department of Neuroscience)

Lilly Swanz (President) 

Emma Sandman (Secretary)

Jamie Henning (VP)

Ashley Ryan (Treasurer)

Zach Brown (Outreach)

Lexi Nolletti (Outreach)

Hollie Clifton (Outreach) 

The Curiosity of Magic and Illusion

No performance art challenges the foundations of our perception and understanding of reality as directly as magic. Join Magician John Shore in an exploration of close-up magic. Feel free to ask questions and see how the limitation of our perception allows our minds to invent false realities within the world around us.

-- John Shore,

Tracking cows' behavior: FitBits and other devices

The booth will provide an inside scoop on the use of precision dairy technologies. We will demonstrate a few of the numerous technologies available at the UK dairy from pedometers and rumination collars to internal pH boluses. We will also explain how the technologies can continuously monitor dairy animals how the information is interpreted to improve farm management decisions.

-- Joao Costa and Gustavo Mazon, College of Agriculture Food and Environment

UK 4 Paws

UK 4 Paws is a club on campus representing 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization based out of Xenia, Ohio. 4 Paws provides fully trained service dogs at no cost to children and veterans with disabilities. Our club is comprised of the college volunteer handlers who foster the service dogs in training until they are ready to be paired with a child or veteran.

-- UK 4 Paws (Student group),  Megan Hwang, coordinator

You Can't Resist This - Microbes are Everywhere!

Microbes are a constant issue in healthcare settings. Here, we will show how effective PPEs are, explain antibiotic resistance, and demonstrate how to use a light microscope.

--Nerina Jusufovic, Andrew Krusenstjerna, Zaria Elery, Makenzie Ryan, Kristin Miller, Hadley Neal, Tatianna Castro Padovani, Jamila Tucker, Reni Scaringello

Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine


The fair was cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Curiosity Stations from 2019 are below.  See photos from 2019 in this Google album.

4 Paws for Ability at UK

Lane Marquardt, 4 Paws for Ability at UK

We are 4 paws for ability at UK and we are a student organization that allows the opportunity to foster and train service dogs for children and veterans with disabilities!

Alternate and Augmentative Communication

Margaret Bausch, Melinda Ault, Judy Page, Jacqui Kearns, College of Education - Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Alternate and augmentative communication devices for individuals with limited oral speech will be available for participants to use and explore. The items on display include picture boards, low tech devices, iPad apps, and dedicated high tech communication devices. Learn how the ability to communicate can enhance opportunities for individuals across the life-span to participate in home, school, community, and work environments.

Are you Sleeping with the Enemy?

Taylor Elsey & Nikki Wickens, Arts and Sciences - Developmental, Social & Health Psychology

Do you think you do (or would) sleep better with a partner, or alone? Come by and cast your vote to see who's keeping who up at night. Snorers, snoozers, hard sleepers, cover hogs and dreamers of all kinds are welcome!

Art Curiosities from the Study Collection (UK Art Museum)

Dan Solberg, UK Art Museum

Get up-close with curious art objects and artifacts from the UK Art Museum's study collection. Whether it's a restrike of an artist print, a tiny perfume bottle, or a bespoke greeting card, the study collection hosts an array of intriguing items for educational use. They may seem like odds and ends compared to the rest of the museum's permanent collection, but their stories can be just as interesting.

Art, Engineering, and Healthcare on-going collaborative projects

Siavash Tohidi, Dr. Daniel Lau, Dr. Micael Winkler, Fine Arts - School of Art and Visual Studies

We are showcasing interdisciplinary projects among School of Art and Visual Studies, Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Radiology at UKY Medical School. First project titled 'Face Paint' uses computer vision to swap faces in real-time by using a depth sensor and a small projector. Second project showcases the innovative use of 3D printing in treating patients in the UKY hospital.

Assistive Technology to accommodate for disability

Christina Bard, Human Development Institute

We all use assistive technology in our lives, to accommodate for something. Assistive technology allows people to accomplish daily tasks, work, communicate and fully participate in life. We will have a variety of tools and devices that help people with various needs be more independent.

Bacterial hand-to-hand combat

Erin Garcia, College of Medicine - Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

Bacteria don’t always get along! Using bacteria in the genus Burkholderia (which includes both beneficial microbes and disease-causing pathogens), our research group investigates how these single-celled organisms interact with one another. We focus on specific cell surface proteins that many bacterial species use to antagonize their neighbors. By uncovering how these antibacterial proteins work, we hope our research will lead to new ways to treat or prevent bacterial infections.

Baseball (for the Blind!)

David Wanczyk (Ohio University) and Justin Gardner (The American Printing House for the Blind)

Beep Baseball is an adaptive sport for blind and visually impaired people. Come see--and hear--how this amazing sport is played. Wear a blindfold, check out the beeping ball, peruse some clips and photos of the sports' biggest moments, and meet the author of the book "Beep: Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind."

The Bowman wildcat sculpture: What's in a name?

Ruth Bryan - UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Why is the Wildcat sculpture in front of Memorial Coliseum named "Bowman?" The name refers to a important but relatively unknown individual in University of Kentucky history. Come explore the early days of the A&M College and Lexington with archival documents and photographs from the University Archives. The story is more complex than you might think!

CI CoLab -- VR-ing it up

Nathan Stevens, College of Communication and Information

Come try VR at our station and learn about our research projects using VR.

A collaborative game for creating/noticing interdisciplinary connections

Michael Baker, College of Fine Arts - Music

This demo involves a playable game of interdisciplinary associations between music, visual and performing arts, STEM fields, language and other fields of study. This is based on my work on developing a special topics class called "Music and Interdisciplinary Studies" for the Lewis Honors College, drawing on Hermann Hesse's novel The Glass Bead Game. Players in a round work together to draw connections, riffing off one another, all the while learning about deep structural similarities across various areas of study. The rules are easy to learn and quick to play, and the game develops creative associations between various areas of study.

The Curiosity of Magic and Illusion

John Shore

No performance art challenges the foundations of our perception and understanding of reality as directly as magic. Join Magician John Shore in an exploration of close-up magic. Feel free to ask questions and see how the limitation of our perception allows our minds to invent false realities within the world around us.

Drawn to Curiosity

Hannah Ruehl, CELT

Curiosity is one of the great ways we get to let our minds wander and wonder. At this station, let your creativity out as you draw, sketch, or color what your curiosity looks like. Is it a lightbulb? Is it fireworks? Is it frustration? Is it a journey? Is it a poem? Engage with your curiosity by reflecting on how you let your desire to explore through art. Do your artwork anywhere on this giant paper!

Dream Big: Chasing Your Curiosity and Discovering Your Beautiful Ambitions

Mike Wallace, CELT

Dream Big is about pondering the unique possibilities and purposes of your life on the planet. This visual space is a place for you to declare your beautiful ambitions, explore and map out potential opportunities, discuss what may be blocking your path forward, what your very next step might be or what partners or pathways might help you overcome setbacks. Sustained belief gives you the courage and energy to persevere when all seems lost and to ultimately fulfill your beautiful ambition. Whether you have achieved a beautiful ambition and would like to encourage or you are seeking to discover your beautiful ambition… stop by the table to be see how others are creating positive change for themselves and others.

Exploring Tea Ceremonies of China

Cameron Pitsenbarger, Yang Han, Yihan Wang, Yiqing Zhu, Confucius Institute

Steeped in myth and legend, and with roots dating back as far as the 2nd century BC, tea has become an icon of Chinese culture. From its early use as a medicinal herb, to a topic of ritual, scholarship, and art; this complex, tasty beverage has more to offer than just refreshment.

Visit the UK Confucius Institute as we explore just one aspect of Chinese tea: The Tea Ceremony. Experience the Wulong (Oolong) and the Covered-Bowl Black Tea Ceremonies while learning about their distinctive tea sets and tea-making processes. Complimentary tastings will be available throughout the event.

In addition, the UK Confucius Institute will offer two 10-minute dramatized performances of the Chinese Tea Ceremony:

-The Wulong (Oolong) Tea Ceremony with guzheng (zither) accompaniment

-The Covered-Bowl Black Tea Ceremony with pipa (lute) accompaniment

The History of Misinformation

Tracy Campbell, Arts and Sciences - History

This is a new course that I will be offering in the spring semester, 2020. It will be a research-intensive course that examines case studies of misinformation in U.S. history since World War II. In essence, it is a unique history course that examines things that did not happen, but have shaped who we are.

Honeybee Observation Hive

Clare Rittschof, CAFE - Entomology

Honey bee observation hive and possible pheromones

How do farmers protect our environment?

Mieke Holder, CAFE - Animal and Food Sciences

With an ever-growing global population, farmers are challenged every day to produce more food, more efficiently. How can they live up to this challenge, but still protect the land that they love for future generations to come? Stop by our demo and find out!

How do they do that in movies?

Kirk Laird, Media Depot

We will bring equipment used in different filming techniques. Patrons will be able to operate the equipment. Crane, Dolly, Gimbal, 360 Theta Camera, Professional camera with cinema lens etc. "

Intelligent Machines: Can Machines Be Smart?

Jihye Bae & Luis G. Sanchez Giraldo, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Can machines read our minds? Can we make machines that perceive the world the way we do? During this presentation, we demonstrate how the brain signals can be used to build advanced interfaces that can establish direct communication between humans and machines. Also, we show how machine learning can be used to equip machines with human-like perception capabilities such as vision, to navigate and interact with the outside world. Assisted by Sofia Saderholm.

Latin: the Universal Language

Milena Minkova, Arts and Sciences - Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures

In our Curiosity station, we intend to demonstrate how Latin, the field of our study, is actually everywhere around us, travels across the world, and even goes beyond this world, in more than one sense. Please come and experience some ways in which Latin is relevant today and relevant to you!


Jason Hicks

View a 400-square-foot reusable labyrinth stencil, learn about its creation for and use in a guerrilla art project, and take a walk along its path as you meditate on our curious world

Learning Through iPad Games

Jill Abney & Trey Conatser, CELT

This booth will invite participants to explore games as a mode of inquiry and learning on the iPad. Specifically, we will feature Swift Playgrounds, a visually engaging app for coding literacies, and Duolingo, a multimodal challenge-based app for language acquisition. Other games may also make an appearance.

“Let’s Go Boys!”: Masculinity and League of Legends

Payton Moore, Arts and Sciences - Gender and Women's Studies

This station investigates virtual masculinity in League of Legends, a popular multiplayer online battle arena. We will be learning about masculinity acts through analyzing Tyler1 and Sneaky's (very popular LOL streamers) Twitch streams.

Neuroscience of Mind Control: Bring your friend and control their body!

Lynda Sharrett-Field, Arts and Sciences - Psychology and Neuroscience

Do you think mind control is a thing for science fiction? Think again! Use our electrophysiological tools to harness your brain's electrical impulses to control the body of another person.

Professional Master's in Forensic Toxicology and Analytical Genetics

Mike Ward, College of Medicine - Toxicology and Cancer Biology

This is a new program instituted by UK to prepare students for a career in the exciting field of Forensic Science. You will discover that the "real Forensic Science" is even more fun than what you see on TV!

The Roots of the Ancients: Bringing the Past to Life through Video Games

Brenna Byrd and Andrew Byrd, Arts and Sciences - Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures and Linguistics

We will demo our video game and how the past connects through the present through video games.

Sight and Sound: Music ~ Computer Programming ~ Art

James Bryant, Engineering and Computer Science

Riddle: What comes in many varieties and can't be seen or touched but it often makes you move?

Answer: Music.

For us it has always been difficult to visualize what we cannot see, but music should be the exception. Using programming, this demonstration will highlight the complexities and beauty of sound by converting a live performance into a visual animation. Listening to someone perform is an experience, but my program turns that music into a spectacle.

Sight Unseen: how shifting perspective can unlock creative potential

Ryan Hargrove, CAFE - Landscape Architecture

The demo will investigate the importance of developing how we see and experience the world and how that influences creative problem solving. Because our perceptual positions determine how we view things, it’s important to learn how to shift our perspective to look at our subject in different ways. Leonardo DaVinci acknowledged the pitfall of being stuck in one’s own perceptual position, and he specified several ways to shift perspective. Saper Vedere (knowing how to see) was one of Leonardo’s mottoes and it defined the whole of his artistic contribution to humanity.

Special Collections Digital Libraries: ExploreUK and the Lexington Herald-Leader Photographs

Sarah Dorpinghaus & Eric Weig, University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center

Did you know there’s a wealth of material from UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center available online? Two librarians will provide tours of ExploreUK ( and the Lexington Herald-Leader Photographs ( digital libraries. Learn about the materials and tools featured on each site, and see what you can discover!

The Stars in Ourselves

Amber Moore, Da Bi, Tim Knauer - MacAdam Student Observatory

You have a deep connection to the distant stars. Every atom inside you that isn't hydrogen or helium was formed inside a star. Stop by and look through a telescope; see for yourself how astronomers are certain you are a creature of the cosmos.

Stinky, squishy, fuzzy, and dead: Plants get sick too!

Lou Hirsch, CAFE - Department of Plant Pathology

Plants get sick just like humans do, but the impacts of plant diseases are invisible to most consumers because of our sophisticated agricultural system. Every year from farm to table in America, billions of dollars of fruits and vegetables are lost to viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases (even sometimes in our own refrigerators and pantries to rots and spoilage). From sick oak trees to wounded tomatoes, this booth will display important plant diseases on familiar plants and educate attendees on the impact of plant pathogens to our society today.

Thought Experiment Lab

Meg Wallace, Arts and Sciences - Philosophy

Thought experiments are devices of the imagination that help philosophers think through ideas, clarify concepts, and to 'test' out the logical implications of different philosophical theories. We begin by wondering "what would happen if...?", and we allow ourselves to consider the consequences of the imagined scenario. At the curiosity fair, our Thought Lab assistants will be inviting students to test out 4 scenarios: (i) Mary - a woman who has only been exposed to black-and-white objects her entire life, (ii) a brain-in-a-vat that is being deceived into thinking it is an embodied, normal person, (iii) an experience machine that produces a seamless, virtual paradise for those who step into it, and (iv) a trolley problem that involves investigating the moral consequences of difficult choices.

Tracking cows' behavior: FitBits and other devices

Joao Costa, Jessica Ferrell, Gustavo Mazon, CAFE - Animal and Food Sciences

The booth will provide an inside scoop on the use of precision dairy technologies We will demonstrate a few of the numerous technologies available at the UK dairy from pedometers and rumination collars to internal pH boluses. We will also explain how the technologies can continuously monitor dairy animals how the information is interpreted to improve farm management decisions.

UK String Project- Meet the String Instruments

Tze-Ying Wu, College of Fine Arts - Music

The UK String Project is a program that offers string instrument instruction to students from age 8 and up. Our booth will demonstrate our teaching method, provide opportunities for UK students to play the instruments, and inform guests of our mission and engagement with the community. We will offer information and material to help people more easily connect with us online and on our social media platforms.

Using zebrafish to find new cancer therapeutics

Jessi Blackburn, College of Medicine - Biochemistry

There are currently less than 40 research laboratories world-wide that focus their work on modeling human cancer in zebrafish; we have the only one in Kentucky! We will discuss how we make and track a cancer in zebrafish, and show live zebrafish at different stages of development, with or without cancer, giving viewers a first-hand look at our cancer models and a better understanding of the benefits of zebrafish in cancer research. Finally, we will demonstrate how we use these models to determine if a specific drug can stop or shrink a cancer, and explain how we can take our findings in zebrafish and apply them to cancer patients.

Welcome to the World of Asian Superheroes

Liang Luo, Arts and Sciences - Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures

"Welcome to the World of Asian Superheroes" is a hands-on experience to link Asian folklore and mythology and contemporary American popular culture.

When you get the chance - Just DANCE!

Shirley Bryan, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UK

Line Dancing - No partner needed. The best way to meet new friends, stretch your mind and body, and have fun! Using cognitive skills, we'll teach you a dance or two! Join us and challenge your brain.

What I Hear I Keep: Adinkra Symbols of West Africa

Shauna Morgan, CELT

Adinkra emerged in the Akan communities of Ghana centuries ago and convey complex meaning and ideas through symbol. These symbols, once reserved for special occasions, were traditionally stamped on cloth. Today, they appear on clothing, on the walls of homes and businesses, and in the Diaspora, they are embraced and utilized to convey a cultural connection to the continent and also bear a message such as the one appearing on the logo of the African American and Africana Studies program here at UK. Come learn about Adinkra, the dye-making and stamping process, and create your own message with ink and symbol.

Yarning for Wellness

Heidi Morrow, Kate Collins, Buddy Hall, Sarah Asher, CELT

Come experience the benefits of knitting! Reduced depression & anxiety, lowered blood pressure, slows onset of dementia, distraction from chronic pain, improves fine motor skills, creative fulfillment.


Curiosity Stations from 2018 (our first year!) are listed below.  See photos from 2018 in this Google album.

  • Solar Car (Monon Rahman, UK Solar Car Team) [located outside ballroom]
  • Magician John Shore (John Shore, Stone Castle Magic)
  • Create a Language (Andrew Byrd, Department of Linguistics)
  • Speak Caveman (Brenna Byrd, Department of Linguistics)
  • Typewriter Story Telling (Roger Brown, College of Agriculture)
  • Virtual Reality (Kirk Laird, Media Depot)
  • World Music Instruments (Donna Kwon, College of Fine Arts)
  • Living in a Material World (Micaha Dean & College of Engineering Ambassadors)
  • What Was Here Before Campus? (Ruth Bryan, University Archivist)
  • Archeology: The World’s Slowest Puzzle (Eric Welch, Lewis Honors College)
  • Curious Cypher Photo (Beth Kraemer, UK Libraries)
  • Science of Beer (Czar Crofcheck, Lewis Honors College)
  • 3-D Printer (Mitchell Dennis, Lewis Honors College)
  • Illusions: What is going on in my mind (Phil Kraemer, Department of Psychology & Chellgren Center)
  • Poetry Everywhere (Trey Conatser, CELT)
  • Unlock it: Increase Student Engagement & Curiosity with Escape Room Scenarios (Jennifer Pusateri, CELT)
  • Hitting the Sweet Spot: How Sugar Substitutes Impact Sensory Properties of Food (Emily DeWitt, College of Agriculture)
  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Jennifer Pusateri, CELT)
  • Curiosity Corp (Mike Wallace, CELT)
  • UK Curiosity Resources (CELT and UK Libraries)
  • Happy Trees (Hannah Ruehl, CELT)
  • Curious and Curiosity! (Danny Waller, NASA student rep for Kentucky)