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Environmental Factor

Environmental Factor

Your Online Source for NIEHS News

May 2018

Youngsters explore science at Bring Your Kids to Work Day

A hands-on science fair greeted dozens of children, and their parents and grandparents, at the annual NIEHS Bring Your Kids to Work Day.

Parents and grandparents registered more than 50 kids for the annual NIEHS Bring Your Kids to Work Day on April 19.

boy looking through microscope The scientific future of some kids got a lift from grandparents and parents on hand for the day. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Organizers, led by Crystal Littlefield in the Administrative Services and Analysis Branch (ASAB) of the Office of Management, selected a science fair theme for the event.

girl wearing stethoscope Volunteers from the Veterinary Medical Section showed kids how to perform an exam on stuffed animals or themselves. For many future vets, it was their first opportunity to be at the other end of a stethoscope. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

“Volunteers offered a variety of tabletop exhibits, demonstrations, and interactive projects,” Littlefield said. “We wanted to give the children some ways to learn about some of the exciting work that takes place here at our campus.”

She also thanked the long list of volunteers who hosted exhibits (see sidebar) and helped with setup and cleanup.

girl and scientists doing a lung capacity demonstration The Office of Science Education and Diversity hosted a lung capacity demonstration. The empty soda bottle illustrated the volume of air exhaled. Participants learned about graphing as they charted their age and their exhaled volume on a large sheet. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The event was geared toward children ages 6 to 12 years, and volunteers were on hand to explain, assist, and help engage the energy that filled the room.

To educate the kids and encourage good safety and lab practices, the Health and Safety Branch provided goggles and gloves for use during the event.

boy wearing gloves Hosts had plenty of protective gear on hand, including gloves, for the scientists-in-training. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union supplied bags with water bottles, coloring books, and crayons, for the kids to collect their souvenirs of the day.

boy playing with slime ASAB helped kids concoct a beaker of slime, complete with color and glitter, and ensured that the pint-sized scientists wore appropriate safety equipment.
children performing DNA extraction Performing DNA extraction from strawberries fascinated these young researchers.
boy using a microscope A microscope at the Veterinary Medical Section station offered kids an up-close look at a tiny heart.
scientist demonstrating a 3-D printer The Neurobehavioral Core demonstrated a 3-D printer, programmed to produce molecular structures.
boy with hands-on DNA model Several tables offered hands-on DNA models. The edible version, with marshmallows in four colors to represent the four DNA bases, was offered by the NIEHS postbaccalaureate fellows.
Volunteers and parents Volunteers and parents alike remarked on the wonder and joy expressed by many of the young participants.
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