Science at the Street Level -Family Science Days

I have been involved in science expos, family days and the Teragrid outreach. Most of our customers are kids. What the sad part is , is that they come and share and learn and leave with a sense of wonder. What happens in the school most say, is very different. I want to share a few pictures with you from the last Family Days at AAAS. We of the Teragrid were invited to display a booth.

  1. I am sharing this information because the link and information is  here for parents and teachers and some idea of what we were able to participate in. I am also sharing this in case you decide to do science cafes or festivals in your area. This is  a blue print to using community and national resources. There is funding for science cafes and festivals.
Fabulous images from the Teragrid

Working the Booth, learning about 3 D Visualization

[Family Science Days]

We Met the Scientists at AAAS Family Science Days!

If you visited  Family Science Days during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).You would have had a wonderful experience. But you actually needed the two days to see it all.

We browsed interactive tabletop exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and had your questions answered by experts convened by AAAS! This FREE event was open to all

All Family Science Days events took  place on Saturday and Sunday, 19-20 February in Exhibit Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

This community science showcase—featuring hands-on demonstrations and other family and kid-friendly activities—shines a spotlight on a broad range of educators working to promote an interest in science among the general public. You can see from some of the pictures here

Exhibitors at Family Science Days

AAAS Kinetic City
Kinetic City ( is a fun, web-based series of science clubs and other resources produced by AAAS. Children learn standards-based science through art, writing, and physical education challenges by using hands-on and on-line activities. Featured this year in our booth will be activities from our Science Gym program, focusing on health, exercise and nutrition. Science Gym is a workout for your body and your mind! 

American Chemical Society (ACS)Apply for an ACS Hach High School Chemistry Grant. Applications due April 1, 2011!
Celebrate the International Year of Chemistry through hands-on activities with ACS. Our bodies, world, and universe are all based on the miraculous science of chemistry. Children, teens, and adults are invited to visit with our scientists and join them in hands-on experiments, such as polymer investigations, that will illustrate how chemistry improves people’s lives every day through its transforming power. 

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
ASABE is a global community of individuals dedicated to the advancement of engineering and technology for a sustainable tomorrow. Its 9,000 members are consultants, designers, educators, researchers, and others with unique expertise in agricultural, food, and biological systems. Worldwide, they help provide the necessities of life: a safe and abundant supply of food; clean water; a healthy environment; and the renewable sources timber, fiber, fuel, and energy. 

American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)
What’s so cool about plant biology and scientific thinking? To find out, try the fun, informative, hands-on plant science activities offered by ASPB. Dig in to make a Lilliputian garden necklace. Peek into plants with easy-to-use microscopes. Collect fun activities to share with your school or community. Meet real plant biologists to learn more about how important plants are to your everyday life. 

ARKive (Wildscreen USA)
ARKive, often called the Noah’s Ark of the web, is a unique global initiative gathering together films, photographs, and audio recordings of the world’s threatened animals, plants, and fungi into one centralized digital library. ARKive is leading the virtual conservation effort by creating comprehensive and enduring multimedia species profiles, complementing other species information datasets, and making this key resource available to scientists, conservationists, educators, and the general public. These important audiovisual records are being preserved and maintained for the benefit of future generations and freely available. 

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
BNL, funded primarily by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy, houses large-scale scientific instruments and facilities—some available nowhere else in the world. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use these facilities to delve into the basic mysteries of physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, energy, and the environment. 

Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE)
CASE’s mission is to improve the science and mathematics experiences of the children of the nation’s capital. Our programs for teachers operate pre-K to high school and include MathforAmerica. Our current children’s programs are intended for students in grades 6-12. Come learn about: First Light; DCBiotech, Outreach Loaner Labs and Bead Into BioInformatics; STEM Teacher Professional Development; Carnegie’s NASA Education and Public Outreach programs; and MathforAmerica. 

Carnegie Mellon University: School of Computer Science (SCS)
Students from SCS invite you to their booth to find out what Computer Science is really about. Also, join us and participate in our stage-show presentation! Guess who is the Computer Scientist? Tickle your brain cells with Computer Science Puzzles! Did you know Computer Science is about Magic? … or is it? Meet “Billinda” our robot dog! 

Deep Earth Academy
Deep Earth Academy develops programs and materials based on ocean research expeditions. Come learn about the JOIDES Resolution—our amazing research ship—and how scientists on board pull core samples from the ocean floor, use them to learn about our Earth, and live for months at sea. 

Fab@Home will change the way we live. It is a platform of printers and programs which can produce functional 3D objects. It is designed to fit on your desktop and within your budget. Fab@Home is supported by a global, open-source community of professionals and hobbyists, innovating tomorrow today. The community includes hundreds of engineers, inventors, artists, students, and hobbyists across six continents. The Fab@Home is used in fields as diverse as model making, manufacturing, education, bioresearch and cooking. Come learn about 3D printing of items from chocolate and cookies, to plastic and human organs. 

FONZ is the dedicated partner of the National Zoological Park and provides exciting and enriching experiences to connect people with wildlife. Together with the Zoo, FONZ is building a society committed to restoring an endangered natural world. 

GenSpace is the country’s first community biotech lab. We dedicate ourselves to promoting education in biotechnology for both children and adults. Our members work in-and-outside of traditional settings, providing a safe, supportive environment for training and mentoring. We come to underserved schools to work with students, but can also be found at street fairs and green markets. We are strong advocates of hands-on science, using our lab to develop fun activities that both engage and educate. As our programs grow and more community labs like ours develop, we believe our community-based efforts will not only help generate a new generation of researchers, but also inform public science debate. 

How the Weather Works
How the Weather Works is a full-service weather education provider. This includes conducting teacher workshops, leading in-school field trips, offering public science education programs, providing quality weather-based photography to clients, and writing books and web content about weather. How the Weather Works prides itself in having a unique meteorologist-educator team to ensure that science and education are blended through multidisciplinary thematic study units. Mathematics, geography, language arts, history, and much more are “webbed” in our programs and products. 

Jump up and down, create an earthquake, and watch your seismic waves. Create a larger earthquake with the help of your family and friends. Be a seismic detective and answer these questions: Did any earthquakes happen around the world today? Where do most earthquakes occur? Where do you think the next earthquake will occur? Explore these topics and more with IRIS, a university consortium funded by the National Science Foundation to provide facilities for education and research in seismology. IRIS provides free educational activities and resources for audiences including K–16 students and teachers and the general public, and it operates global seismic networks, portable seismic instrumentation, and data access facilities.

Koshland Science Museum
The Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences engages the general public in current scientific issues that impact their lives. The museum’s state-of-the-art exhibits and programs stimulate discussion and provide insight into how science supports decision-making. Current Koshland exhibits include Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health, which explores the microbial world we live in and how our response determines the spread of disease;Global Warming Facts & Our Future, which explores ecological and societal issues related to global warming; and Wonders of Science, which explores ground-breaking scientific research through interactive multimedia. 

In March 2011, MESSENGER will become the first spacecraft to go into orbit around the planet Mercury. Come learn about the spacecraft and the planet at this fun, interactive exhibit! 

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
SDO is NASA’s newest eye on the sun. Scientists are using SDO to study how solar activity is created and how space weather comes from that activity. Solar activity affects our modern society. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections can disable satellites, cause power grid failures, and disrupt GPS communications. They can also have a big impact on astronauts in space. Come learn all about the sun and space weather, and create your own Space Weather Report. 

Scheduled to open in 2013, the NCM is a world-class cultural and educational institution dedicated to engaging children and empowering children. Its mission is to inspire children to care about and improve the world. Through 2013, NCM is operating as a Museum Without Walls, participating in a variety of community events and working with other organizations to develop creative partnerships that benefit kids and families. In 2009, NCM opened the Launch Zone, a 2,700 square-foot space at National Harbor, MD, where kids and families can prototype and test exhibit and program concepts. 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
NIAAA works to promote youth understanding of the effects of alcohol on coordination and the dangers associated with these effects. NIAAA will present the “Cool Spot Carnival,” which will use resources and messages from the Institute’s Cool Spot website geared toward young adolescents, aged 8 to 18, to show the negative effects that alcohol can have on the brain. Kids can try their hand at a football-toss game while wearing “fatal vision goggles.” These glasses distort the vision of the wearer to mimic the effects of alcohol on motor skills. 

National Institute of General Medical Services (NIGMS)
NIGMS is a component of the National Institutes of Health, one of the Public Health Service agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIGMS primarily supports basic research that lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The Institute’s programs encompass the areas of cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, bioinformatics, computational biology, research training, and work-force diversity. 

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH is the nation’s medical research agency—making important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH strives to uncover fundamental knowledge in science that will enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. In doing so, NIH seeks to strengthen our nation’s research capacity, broaden our research base, and inspire a passion for science in current and future generations of researchers. 

NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety
The Division invites you to play STAR-LITE (Safe Techniques Advance Research—Laboratory Interactive Training Environment), an interactive, safety training technology that enlightens and expands your knowledge of working safely in a laboratory environment while simultaneously applying critical thinking proficiencies and problem solving skills. STAR-LITE is a free, downloadable, game-based learning experience that incorporates common gaming functionality with laboratory safety and risk assessment content. Sit down at a computer, walk through a virtual laboratory environment, and participate in a series of quests that require interaction with characters and laboratory equipment. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
From automated teller machines and atomic clocks to mammograms and semiconductors, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by NIST. Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Education
NOAA is a federal science agency providing free information about weather, climate, oceans, coasts, satellites, data, and fisheries. Every day, NOAA’s science touches the lives of all Americans. NOAA Education’s mission is to advance environmental literacy and promote a diverse workforce. 

Saint Joseph’s University
Fish Cam is an on-line site that allows teachers and students to participate in research on shoaling (aggregation) behavior in fish. Fish choose shoalmates on the basis of looks, behavior, and familiarity, and we design experiments in which fish are provided with distinct shoaling choices. Teachers and students can visit Fish Cam from their homes and classrooms to collect data from real fish displayed in real time. We change the experimental set-up regularly (as described in the Fish Cam Calendar) enabling classes to complete entire experiments and gain experience in the study of animal behavior. 

Science, Naturally!
Science, Naturally! is an independent press creating products that bridge the gap between the blackboard and the blacktop. Our materials, for kids ages 8-14, include both fiction and non-fiction titles. We try to make potentially intimidating science and math topics accessible and compelling for kids and adults alike. To date, all of our titles have been recognized with the NSTA Recommends designation. 

Smithsonian Institution: National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It’s also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. Its mission is to commemorate, educate, and inspire the nation by preserving and displaying aeronautical and spaceflight equipment; developing educational materials and programs to increase the public’s understanding of, and involvement in, aviation and spaceflight; and conducting and disseminating new research in the study of aviation and spaceflight and their related technologies. 

Society for Science & the Public (SPP)
SSP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Our vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. 

The TeraGrid is the world’s largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. Using high-performance network connections it integrates computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities at 11 partner sites around the country. TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability and more than 30 petabytes of online and archival data storage, with rapid access and retrieval. It includes more than 100 discipline-specific databases. TeraGrid works with educators and students in all fields of study to recruit and engage a large and diverse community in science and engineering. Join us to learn about the opportunities for participation, view 3D videos about astronomy and climatology, and view science/supercomputing videos on IPAD technology! 

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility
Come meet Professor Polar Bear and become a climate kid! Teacher Turtle and PI Prairie Dog will be represented too. Affected by climate change in different ways, these three friends share their experiences with you through the Education and Outreach program at DOE’s ARM Climate Research Facility. The ARM Facility provides measurements to support climate research around the world. ARM Education and Outreach strives to promote basic science awareness and understanding of climate change studies by providing lesson plans and an activity book to teachers and students. 

[PHOTOGRAPH] Melissa Garren collects coral samples during a dive on the Palmyra Atoll 

Meet the Scientists at AAAS Family Science Days!

This was what happened if you visited Family Science Days during the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

We   browsed interactive tabletop exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by experts convened by AAAS. This free event was open to all, but organized especially for middle- and high-school students.

This community science showcase—featuring hands-on demonstrations and other family and kid-friendly activities—shines a spotlight on a broad range of formal and informal science educators who promote an interest in science among the general public.