American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Family Science Days occurred on February 16th and 17th in Washington D.C. Family Science Days is a free public event that offers hands-on, kid-friendly activities. The event ran from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days with over 3150 guests in attendance. Young Women In Bio (YWIB) participated in the event as an exhibitor for both the days. Young women who are high school students from Montgomery County public school system performed the demonstrations and activities for YWIB.
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YWIB had two hands-on activities. The first activity consisted of identifying different organs and building a human anatomy model, while the other activity involved making an edible DNA helix using pieces of candy. In the first activity, each child was given a disassembled human torso model. With the help of YWIB volunteers, the children learned the functions of each organ as they assembled the model. Upon completion, each participant was allowed to spin a wheel to claim their prize. The prizes included rock candy, a lollipop, or a YWIB sticker. Approximately 500-600 children participated in this activity.
For the second activity, each child was given a packet comprised of Twizzlers, Gummy Bears, marshmallows, and toothpicks. With the help of volunteers, each participant made a DNA helix while learning about the composition of DNA – phosphate group, bases, hydrogen bonds, and sugar. Upon completion of the activity, participants could eat their edible DNA helix. Approximately 175 children participated in this event.
YWIB Capital Region had a great turn out for the event, and our activities were well-received by the attendees. One young man who participated in the edible DNA helix activity stated that “it was more fun and engaging than he had anticipated”.
YWIB Capital Region would like to thank the event organizer, Ms. Stacey Baker, AAAS, and the event sponsors – Analog Devices Inc, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Subaru for sponsoring the 2019 Family Science Days. We also would like to thank our YWIB volunteers and high school students who carved out time to support us over the weekend, and helped make the event a success.