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.
By Kelly Lenox
Parents and grandparents registered more than 50 kids for the annual NIEHS Bring Your Kids to Work Day on April 19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Volunteers from all corners
Volunteers from throughout the institute engaged the visitors in a range of activities related to environmental health.
Veterinary Medicine Section — Terry Blankenship-Paris, Molly Comins, Angela Dickerson, and David Goulding provided stuffed animals to explain veterinary exams, a microscope, a device to measure pulse and blood oxygen levels, anatomic models, and a wealth of other materials and exhibits.
Office of Fellows Career Development — Tammy Collins and postbaccalaureate fellows Ahmed Mashal, Jeanne Powell, Alma Solis, Christine Bowen, and Nancy Urbano helped visitors construct DNA models and demonstrated oil spill cleanup.
Division of Intramural Research — Mercedes Arana and Maria Sifre set up a strawberry DNA extraction procedure.
Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee — Paul Johnson, Laura Hall, Floyd Adsit, Bill Steinmetz, and Bill Willis provided cards with photos of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals found around the campus; audios of bird calls; and bird coloring sheets.
Office of the Director — Ericka Reid and Huei-Chen Lao hosted a lung capacity demonstration.
National Toxicology Program — Amy Wang hosted a lava lamp made with purple cabbage juice.
Division of Intramural Research — Jemma Strauss and Korey Stevanovic demonstrated the 3-D printing process and helped kids match molecular structures.
Clinical Research Branch — Lauren Carlson presented clinical research studies.
ASAB — Multiple volunteers helped visitors make paper models of two different viruses, stirred up slime, ran a photo booth for parents and children, and hosted an ice cream social. Charles Lipford set up the room and cleared it afterwards.
Office of the Director — Steve McCaw, Anne Thompson, and Paul Windsor prepared a booth for participants to take photos of their visit.