Science Unsealed is back from our winter hiatus, and we’re coming at you with a science poetry contest!

We know the science crowd out there has an artsy side, and we want to see it. Our first science poetry contest is for the best science haiku – a Sci-Ku, if you will. Here is our entry form.

In case you need a refresher, here are the details of a haiku:

  1. A haiku has 3 lines, and each is a phrase.
  2. The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5.
  3. A haiku usually mentions or implies the season.

Here’s an example by renowned haiku poet, Matsuo Basho:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
Splash! Silence again.

Contest Requirements

Your haiku must fit into one of our very broad categories: 

  • Biology ‘n’ brains
  • Space, time, and waves 
  • Robots
  • Nature/climate
  • Bonus CATegory: cats! (Who doesn’t like a poem about cats?) 

Submit your best original Sci-Ku using this form, and make sure to indicate the category. You can enter as many haiku as you like. The deadline to submit your SciKu is 2/6/2020. Your SciKu must follow the traditional format of a haiku. To be eligible to win, you must provide us with your first and last name and your email address.


Knowing your audience is always a plus, so keep in mind that ISC is a nonpartisan group, and that we are a bunch of science-enthusiasts. Your winning poem will be featured on ISC’s social media accounts, and you might even get a cool science prize! You’ll be credited and you’ll get to keep the rights to your poem. Winners will be selected by the Illinois Science Council Associates Board by 3/1/2020. Winners will be notified by email. 

Excited about this? Great! Keep an eye out for our quarterly science poetry contests featuring limericks and sonnets, and maybe even a science-themed poetry slam.

Our contest opens today, so get those creative juices flowing!


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Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across North America, from Mexico to the Maine-Canadian border. For those who experienced the spectacular solar eclipse of 2017, this one will be similar, crossing the United States from west to east and passing through or near several major metropolitan areas. And while its path is quite different this time, Carbondale, Illinois, a reasonable destination for Chicago-area residents, will once again be on the line of totality.    

Just a little background on eclipses:  Lunar and solar eclipses are not uncommon – they each occur about twice a year when the moon is crossing the ecliptic, the path of the sun in the sky.

Two women representing the Illinois Science Council at an event.

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