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Science mysteries at the farmers market

This article appeared in the October 28, 2011 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

Science mysteries at the farmers market

By Lisa Justice
Special to the Enterprise

Come join Explorit at the Davis Farmers Market Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29, 8:00am-1:00pm.  Stop by Explorit’s table to help assemble a skeleton, pet a cockroach and see if you can use science to help solve some mysteries. 

Scientists use a variety of tools to answer all kinds of questions and even solve crimes.  Join us to learn how a microscope works, then practice using one to decipher clues and solve mysteries.

You can study seed samples to trace a person’s path around town.  As you walk around outside you come into contact with the different plants that are near.

Many plants try to spread their seeds as widely as they can.  Sometimes those tiny seeds can become attached to your clothes or shoes. 

Examine the seeds on one person’s shirt to find out what plants he’s been near.  Then based on where those plants are planted, you can figure out where this person has been around town.

Solve the mystery of the borrowed sweater by analyzing fiber samples.  Fibers are the substances that clothes and fabric are made of like wool, cotton or polyester.

Reveal who’s been in the chicken coop by studying hair and cuticle samples from different animals.  A cuticle sample could be a porcupine’s quill or a human’s fingernail.

Study samples of different patterns of fingerprints.  Even though some people have similar patterns of fingerprints, no two people have prints that are exactly the same.

Compare sets of fingerprints to those found at a crime scene to uncover who stole the lunchbox.
Explorit’s display will also include exhibits on the human body.  See if you can solve the puzzle of how people’s internal organs fit inside their bodies.  Or discover how long an adult’s intestines are.

Explorit will also be featuring a very special pumpkin.  See if you can figure out what makes this pumpkin so dramatic.  Hint—if you read last week’s column, you already know.

So drop by Explorit’s table at the Davis Farmers Market Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29 from 8:00am to 1:00pm for some mysterious science activities.  And like us on Facebook  at for more science fun.

Explorit’s coming events:

• Explorit’s newest Exhibition, “Forces of Nature” is open the first full weekend, Saturday and Sunday, of every month from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  This exhibition welcomes the public back to our 3141 5th Street Nature Center and will feature some of the best of Explorit’s past exhibits.

• The Davis Astronomy Club will mmet at Explorit on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. To discuss new discoveries by space- and ground-based telescopes  that are greatly enhancing our understanding of the birth and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets.
Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. and is open to the public every first Saturday and Sunday of the month.  For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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