News: News Archives
Kids and Parents Discover the Fun of Science at the AAAS Annual Meeting
ST. LOUIS — Morgan Kern, a bright first-grader from St. Louis, created floating raindrops while her little sister Danielle, age 4, learned about different types of clouds. The activities, designed to teach children about weather, was just one of the many taking place this weekend during Family Science Days at the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting.
Hundreds of families, children and teachers, many of them from the St. Louis area, participated in a variety of hands-on workshops and engaging science demonstrations in the Exhibition Hall of the America's Center downtown Saturday [18 February], and another day of fun was scheduled for Sunday. Ongoing activities range from the St. Louis Science Center's "Segue into Segways," in which children and parents are invited to ride gyroscope-embedded vehicles, to Monsanto’s “MySci Investigation Station,” where kids can crawl through a limestone cave and learn about different biomes such as prairies and coral reefs.
The exciting atmosphere on the first floor provided something for everyone. Eager children and families participated in Platypus Media’s “Name that Mammal” game and won prizes after learning about mammals. Billinda, Carnegie Melon University’s robotic dog, was especially popular.
“It can do tricks and it’s not even alive!” said 8-year-old Lucas Thompson. Lucas said he is very interested in robotics.
Family Science Days is an annual event held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. It’s meant to encourage kids to have an interest in science and math outside the classroom.
“I have a hard time explaining science to my kids,” said Shari, Morgan and Danielle’s mother. “Coming here helps my kid, or anybody’s kid, to understand how science is a part of everyday life and that there is so much to learn about everything around you.”
Read All About It!
For more AAAS news from the 2006 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., click here.
The events are also geared towards educating children and families about careers in science and mathematics.
Dorothy Williams, who volunteered at the fair with the St. Louis Metropolitan Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority, said that kids and parents get a lot out of the event.
“These events really foster an awareness of math and science and the career opportunities available to those who follow their interest,” she said.
One important goal of the event is to counteract the too-common view that science and math are boring. But don’t tell that to Morgan Kern.
“Science is cool,” she said. “It takes a lot of work to figure out the really neat things.”
Douglas M. Main
19 February 2006