Science Bag

Making Science Interesting and Fun Since 1972

Thank you for joining us!

We look forward to seeing you at the 2024 Science Bag!

Science Bag is free and located in Lapham Hall Room N103.


2024 Science Bag Presentations


person holding battery and phone with "electricity" between

Junjie Niu

Associate Professor
Materials Science and Engineering (UWM College of Engineering & Applied Sciences)

Lithium Ion Batteries:
Making Mobile Magnificent

How is it possible for the tiny battery in your cell phone to stay charged for numerous days? Or how is it that we can now drive electric cars, in some cases for very long distances?  

In this talk, I will explain the principles behind lithium ion batteries — how they store electricity and how this impacts our lives.

Friday, 2/9/2024 @ 6 PM
Friday, 2/16/2024 @ 1 PM
Sunday, 2/18/2024 @ 3 PM


person looking at "robot"

Prasenjit Guptasarma

UWM Dept. of Physics (College of Letters & Science) and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (UWM College of Engineering & Applied Sciences)

Artificial Intelligence:
Friend or Foe?

Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have generated much excitement mixed with some anxiety and foreboding. AI now has the potential to become almost human.  

Can it also be our friend? Through this talk, we will explore the history, the scientific background, and the possible future of this new technology at a level accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Friday, 3/1/2024 @ 6 PM
Friday, 3/8/2024 @ 1 PM
Sunday, 3/10/2024 @ 3 PM


person pointing to paper with information on it

Peter Hinow

UWM Dept. of Mathematical Sciences (College of Letters & Science)

Mr. Turing and His Amazing Machine:
The Simplicity of the First Computer

Can you imagine a computer with infinite memory? Surely, such a machine should/would be infinitely powerful (?). Surprisingly, there are problems that even such a computer cannot solve.  

In this presentation we will explore the life and work of Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), a stellar mathematician, codebreaker and visionary of computer science and theoretical biology.

Friday, 4/12/2024 @ 6 PM
Friday, 4/19/2024 @ 1 PM
Sunday, 4/21/2024 @ 3 PM

Opportunities for School Groups

Opportunities for school groups are being offered on Friday afternoons for each of our presentations. Drop-off and pick-up is convenient. Contact us to learn more!

Our History

Founded in 1973 by Robert Greenler and Glenn Schmieg (both UWM Physics Professors Emeriti), the Science Bag program has allowed more than 150,000 people to attend free programs to learn about topics including cardiovascular disease, the physics of bicycling, and visible/invisible colors in the world around us!

2023 Science Bag Presentations


Genes and Environment: Adapting to Changing Conditions

Michael Carvan

Shaw Professor
UWM School of Freshwater Sciences

When environmental conditions change, animals must also change, in order to live. In this program, we will explore some truly unique ways that animals use to adapt to environmental extremes to enhance survival.  We also look at molecular processes used by some animals which allow them to adapt to both short- and long-term environmental changes.


professor holding flower
Due to proprietary material, a video of this presentation is not available. For more information about Professor Karron, visit his profile page.

Buzzing Bees and Shooting Stars: Pollination in the Prairie

Jeffrey Karron

UWM Dept. of Biological Sciences

Using high resolution, slow motion video, this multimedia extravaganza will show how bees ensure the survival of “shooting star,” a beautiful plant native to wet prairies of SE Wisconsin. In particular, this plant requires bees to vibrate their bodies at very high rates (frequencies), causing the flower to explosively release its pollen onto their bodies!


Secrets of Animal Sounds: The Music of Insects & Frogs

Gerlinde Höbel

Associate Professor
UWM Dept. of Biological Sciences

Rafael Rodríguez

UWM Dept. of Biological Sciences

All animals communicate. How that is done, of course, varies by the creature and the purpose.  This presentation focusses on treefrogs and treehoppers, whose sometimes raucous choruses provide an ideal way in which to ask questions and learn about the social and environmental factors that govern their lives.