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Weeknights at the Wagner: Running on Water & Other Secrets of Animal Locomotion

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)

Philadelphia, PA

Weeknights at the Wagner: Running on Water & Other...

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~Weeknights at the Wagner~


Running on Water and Other Secrets of Animal Locomotion
An illustrated presentation
Dr. Tonia Hsieh, Assistant Professor of Biology, Temple University 

Basilisk lizard drawn by Edward Drinker Cope Cope, E. D. (1875). On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. Journal of the Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia, 8(2), 93–154. Collection of the Wagner Free Institute of Science Library.

Can you walk on water, climb up glass, or drop a leg and keep running? The animal kingdom is filled with an enormous diversity of creatures that perform these amazing feats on a daily basis. When building robots, engineers are challenged to design a system that comes close to matching the engineering prowess of Mother Nature. Tonia Hsieh will draw upon findings from her lab and from the field of biomechanics to show how the fusion of robotic design and biology can help us learn more about the secrets of animal locomotion as well as how to build a better robot.

Dr. Tonia Hsieh is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Temple University where she teaches about comparative biomechanics, biomimetics, and bioinspiration. Her research, which has taken her around the world, aims to discover how animals move through the extremely complex natural environment without tripping or falling down. She is dedicated to increasing science literacy and accessibility for kids and the general public, especially in the Philadelphia region.

Weeknights at the Wagner talks are held at the Wagner Free Institute of Science. This year we will start the program later to allow extra time for people to arrive. Talks will start promptly at 6:00PM. The museum will be open before the talk begins, so come early to explore our National Historic Landmark building and preserved Victorian era museum. 

This program is free, but a suggested donation of $8-$10 supports our mission and ensures that we can continue bringing you fantastic programs like this one. 

Have questions about Weeknights at the Wagner: Running on Water & Other Secrets of Animal Locomotion? Contact Wagner Free Institute of Science

When & Where


Wagner Free Institute of Science
1700 W Montgomery Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19121

Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)


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Wagner Free Institute of Science

Founded in 1855, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is dedicated to providing free public education in science.  Its programs include free courses and lectures, field trips and lessons for children and museum tours for all ages. The evening science courses are in their 159th year, making them the oldest program devoted to free adult education in the United States. 

The Institute’s Museum houses more than 100,000 natural history specimens, a collection begun by founder William Wagner in the early nineteenth century and expanded by the pre-eminent scientist Joseph Leidy in the 1880s. Completed in 1865, the Institute’s National Historic Landmark building is essentially unchanged since the late-nineteenth century and includes a Victorian Exhibition Hall filled with fossils, shells, minerals and mounted animal skeletons and skins displayed in original wood and glass cabinets. The Museum is open to visitors Tuesdays - Fridays, 9 AM to 4 PM, year-round. Evening and weekend programs are offered during the fall, winter and spring.
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