Dartmouth Welcomes Area Students for Science Day

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A day of science demonstrations and activities awaits young students on April 1.

young students observing plant structures under the microscope
Garo Akmakjian, a PhD student in biology, helps visiting students observe plant structures under the microscope during a Science Day event in 2015. (Photo by Kelly Salmon)

Dartmouth is inviting scientifically inclined elementary- and high-school students and their parents to Science Day 2017 at the College for an educational and fun-filled day of demonstrations and interactive activities.

This year’s Science Day is set for Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The expo, the fifth annual celebration of science for students, is sponsored by the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

“At a time when science in this country is misunderstood by so many, events like Science Day help foster an understanding of the scientific process and deepen appreciation for science, as well as inspire kids by meeting real scientists and learning about the great research happening at Dartmouth,” says F. Jon Kull, the Rodgers Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Graduate Studies.

While activities are designed for students in grades five through 10, “all curious minds are welcome to sample a taste of what their future might hold,” the organizers say.

Jessica DeSimone, Kelly Salmon, and Sarah Valles have taken the lead in organizing the day’s activities. The three are graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular Biology and members of the Compton Laboratory at the Geisel School of Medicine.

“We enjoy being involved in Science Day because it allows us to open our labs to the local community let them see what it is that scientists do,” says Salmon. “We get to educate both children and parents about different science topics and the importance of research.”

New this year is the Department of Earth Sciences’ presentation about climate change and its role in weather patterns and flooding. Another new addition is by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, providing an interactive demonstration of how antibodies from our immune system attack bacterial invaders.

A welcome table at the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center will have maps and directions to all activities. Graduate students and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions to serve as guides.

Science Day organizers have requested that all student visitors must be accompanied by an adult.

Joseph Blumberg