Skip to main content

2016 Family Science Days

Science for Everyone

Explore interactive science exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by scientists! Family Science Days are FREE and open to all.

This free community science showcase features hands-on demos, shows, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. The event features a broad range of educators and scientists promoting an interest in science among the general public.



Saturday, February 13

11:30 a.m.
FIRST—More Than Robots
FIRST Robotics

12:00 p.m.
Visual Illusion in Athletes: When Does the Baseball Look As Big As a Grapefruit?
Jessica Witt
Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Colorado State University

12:30 p.m.
The Political Science of Our Crazy Presidential Campaign
John Sides
Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University

1:00 p.m.
Tumor Killing Bacteria
Shaila Kotadia and Amanda Whitehead
STEM Dance-ology

1:30 p.m.
Meet an Astronaut
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

2:00 p.m.
Who Needs Numbers Anyway?
Chandra Erdman
Director of Analytics, Management Leadership for Tomorrow

2:30 p.m.
From Photons to Frog Calls: What Climate Change Means for Wildlife and What We’re Doing About It
Adam Terando
Research Ecologist, Department of Interior Southeast Climate Science Center

3:00 p.m.
Salamanders and Their Good and Bad Microbes
Carly Muletz Wolz
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Maryland, and Researcher, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

3:30 p.m.
Layers in Time
Amala Posey
National Park Service

Sunday, February 15

12:00 p.m.
Science Quiz Show
Science Cheerleaders and Discover Magazine

12:30 p.m.
Tiny Robots
Sarah Bergbreiter
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland

1:00 p.m.
Visualizing Vibrations
AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipient

1:30 p.m.
The Massive Impact of Microscopic Insects
Mark A. Metz
Research Entomologist, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture

2:00 p.m.
Science To Protect National Parks From Climate Change
Patrick Gonzalez
Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, California State University, East Bay

2:30 p.m.
Privacy and the Internet of Things
Deidre Mulligan
Principal Climate Change Scientist, U.S. National Park Service



AAAS Project 2061
Project 2061 is a long-term initiative of AAAS to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. To achieve that goal, Project 2061 conducts research and develops tools and services that educators, researchers, and policymakers can use to make critical and lasting improvements in the nation’s education system. With expertise in developing K-12 learning goals and implementing them effectively in curriculum, assessment, and instruction, Project 2061 plays a leading role in STEM education and consults widely with others in the field.

AAAS/Science Books & Films
Using books that have won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes as inspiration, kids will create a comic book story or superhero. Art Way Alliance is a DC nonprofit that works with schools in the DC area to present workshops and events that integrate comics, science, and art. Its members are local artists and writers who have been trained to work with school-aged students and their local partners include DC Public Schools and the Museum of Science Fiction.

American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society Education Division serves learners and educators by building communities and providing effective chemistry education resources, grants, communities, professional development opportunities, standards, and guidelines. Stop by our booth to find information that can support your efforts to provide innovative, relevant, and effective chemistry education from kindergarten through professional education.

American Dental Education Association
The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is the voice of dental education. Its members include all 76 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, over 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, 66 corporations, and more than 20,000 individuals. ADEA GoDental provides students interested in pursuing careers in dentistry and dental hygiene with the information and guidance they need to apply to programs, matriculate, and eventually fulfill their career goals. ADEA GoDental aspires to reach students from a variety of backgrounds to supply the dental and dental hygiene workforce needed to meet the evolving oral health needs of a diverse society.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with over 12,000 members. Founded in 1906, ASBMB is based in Rockville, Maryland. The society’s purpose is to advance the science of biochemistry and molecular biology through publication of scientific and educational journals (Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, and Journal of Lipid Research), organization of scientific meetings, advocacy for funding of basic research and education, support of science education at all levels, and promoting the diversity of individuals entering the scientific workforce.

American Society for Microbiology
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. Membership has grown from 59 scientists in 1899 to more than 39,000 members today, with more than one third located outside the United States. The members represent all aspects of the microbial sciences including microbiology educators.

American Society of Plant Biologists
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is a professional society devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences. It publishes two world-class journals and organizes conferences and other activities that are key to the advancement of the science. Membership in ASPB is open to anyone from any nation engaged with the full spectrum of plant science research from fundamental to applied.

American Statistical Association
The American Statistical Association (ASA) is the world’s largest community of statisticians, the “Big Tent for Statistics.” ASA supports excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy. Our members serve in industry, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.

American University Sciences
American University is a private university situated in northwest Washington, DC with an enrollment of about 13,000 students. American University offers 69 bachelor’s degrees, 73 master’s degrees, 11 doctoral degrees, and a JD program, as well as 72 certificate programs including 18 different majors in the sciences and mathematics with a new neuroscience major. At this event, American University science faculty and DC Ideal Academy Public Charter School middle school teachers and students will participate.

Building with Biology
Come participate in hands-on activities, co-created by scientists and science museum educators, on the fast-growing field of synthetic biology. Learn about how synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to living systems. Consider potential applications such as oil spill-eating bacteria, genetically engineered mosquitoes, or rice engineered to deliver vitamins. Share your voice about what kinds of organisms biological engineers could build to help solve real-world problems.

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station.

Computing Research Association
The mission of the Computing Research Association is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government, and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing.

Disney Junior—Miles from Tomorrowland
Miles from Tomorrowland, a series on Disney Junior, charts the outer space missions of young adventurer Miles Callisto and his family—mom and ship captain, Phoebe; mechanical engineer dad, Leo; tech-savvy big sister, Loretta; and best friend pet robo-ostrich, Merc. Curiosity and discovery is central to the show’s STEAM curriculum, and the episodes incorporate unique space and science facts into each storyline. Experts from NASA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Space Tourism Society, and Google serve as consultants on the series, which is designed to inspire young children’s natural interest in the world that lies beyond their own.

Drexel Central Africa Programs
The goal of the Drexel Central Africa Programs is to study, conserve, and educate the world about the unique biodiversity of Central Africa. Drexel University hosts two regional research and education programs in central Africa. The Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program is an academic partnership between Drexel and the National University of Equatorial Guinea. Programs include education, research, and conservation activities. Drexel is also a founding member of the Central African Biodiversity Alliance: an academic and governmental partnership that unites American, Cameroonian, Equatoguinean, and Gabonese researchers, government officials, and conservation professionals around a collaborative research, educational, and outreach program.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
The FIRST mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all. Founded in 1989 as a 501(c) nonprofit by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST learning never stops building upon itself, starting at age 6 and continuing through age 18. Participants master skills and concepts to aid in learning science and technology through innovative projects and robotics competitions, while gaining valuable employment and life skills.

HHMI’s BioInteractive
Identify critters in “animal selfies” to contribute to the restoration of one of Africa’s most biodiverse ecosystems! Researchers studying lions in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique have set up over 50 motion-activated trail cameras that take a picture every time an animal walks by. But who’s in these photos? You help scientists figure it out by identifying the animals in these pictures using WildCam Gorongosa. Then, learn more about the ecology of Gorongosa by creating your own food web and seeing what happens when disturbances like fires or poaching are introduced.

Howard University
The Howard University Engineering Ambassadors run outreach activities in the Washington, DC area to inspire K-12 students to pursue science and engineering careers and motivate undergraduate and graduate student interest in K-12 outreach.

Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is a consortium of over 120 U.S. universities and research institutions dedicated to the operation of scientific facilities and provision of services for the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. IRIS programs contribute to scholarly research, education, earthquake hazard mitigation, tsunami warning, and to the monitoring of underground nuclear tests.

Joint Quantum Institute
We are on the verge of a new technological revolution as the strange and unique properties of quantum physics become relevant and exploitable in the context of information science and technology. Discover the quantum world with members of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI). Created in 2006 to pursue theoretical and experimental studies of quantum physics, JQI is located on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. JQI is a research partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

KID Museum
KID Museum cultivates creative, curiosity, and compassion through interactive experiences for children integrating hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math learning with an exploration of world cultures and global citizenship.

Linguistic Society of America
You use language all the time, but what do you know about how it actually works? See what speech looks like and how scientists study the sounds of language. Learn how the human mind processes the meanings of words and sentences. Discover the science behind your everyday communication. This booth is staffed with working language scientists from around the country and is partly supported by the National Science Foundation.

National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is one of the nation’s premiere research institutions for the physical and engineering sciences. As the national metrology (measurement) institute for the U.S., NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advance nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on the technology, measurements and standards provided by NIST.

NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences
The NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences is a Cooperative Science Center led by Howard University in collaboration with three other minority-serving institutions: Jackson State University, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and two majority institutions: University of Maryland College Park, and State University of New York at Albany. The Center has been funded by the NOAA Educational Partnership Program since September 2001 and has formed a cooperative partnership with the NOAA National Weather Service. These minority-serving institutions possess the highest combined enrollment of minority undergraduate majors in STEM fields.

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation seeks to increase students’ interest in STEM by engaging them in hands-on curriculum-based VEX robotics programs and developing business, education, and nonprofit partnerships to achieve its goals.

SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine
Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, SciStarter and the Science Cheerleaders are teaming up to help find and join citizen science projects in need of your help! Stop by, pick up a free magazine, get some autographs, and learn how to ground-truth snow depth near you so researchers can calibrate weather satellites!

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Explainers at the National Air and Space Museum inspire life-long learners by connecting them to our iconic artifacts and to stories about the science and technology that make innovation possible. The Explainers are a group of high school and college students who help visitors better understand the Museum’s artifacts and exhibitions through hands-on programming. The Explainers run over 500,000 interactions with visitors a year between the Museum's location on the National Mall and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Society for Neuroscience seeks to share neuroscience with the general public through engaging articles, images, videos and more. The brain is the most complex biological structure in the known universe. Neuroscience is a topic rich with exciting new discoveries, continuing profound unknowns, and critical implications for individuals, families, and societies. is a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience. The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system.

Society of Toxicology
The Society of Toxicology is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad. The Society’s mission is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.

U.S. Global Change Research Program
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a Federal program mandated by Congress that coordinates and integrates global change research across 13 Federal agencies to most effectively and efficiently serve the Nation and the world. Through interagency partnerships and collaborations with leading experts, USGCRP works to advance climate science and improve the understanding of how global change is impacting society, both today and into the future. USGCRP’s four strategic goals are to: Advance Science, Inform Decisions, Conduct Sustained Assessments, and Communicate and Educate.

U.S. National Park Service
Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service (NPS) with the care of their most special places—their national parks. From the beginning of the NPS in 1916, science has played an important role in conserving this natural and cultural heritage, and national parks have been invaluable sites for scientific research. As part of its centennial celebration, NPS is looking to inspire the next generation of visitors and scientists charged with protecting these special places.

United States Botanic Garden
The U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America with a mission to connect people to plants—their importance, value, and diversity.

Sponsored by:

Bristol-Meyers Squibb Logo