Excited kids and their families crowded the hall today, Feb. 13, at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., as the doors to Family Science Days at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting opened.
Some flocked to exhibit booths, such as HHMI's BioInteractive, where kids were quickly engaged in a citizen science project of identifying the animals that show up in "critter selfies" from Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Others headed toward the back of the room, where the robotics activities could be found.
Elsewhere in the hall, kids were busy at the Art Way Alliance and SB&F booth coloring and creating comic books or superheroes inspired by books that won this year's AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes for Excellence in Science Books. At the Howard University booth, a Girl Scout troop watched with interest as university students demonstrated how buildings withstand earthquakes before taking bags of marshmallows and toothpicks to try their hands at building their own stable structures.
There were science exhibits and activities for every taste, from 3D optical illusions to table crafts that explained how circuits worked and from virtual reality goggles to weather phenomena in miniature. Scientists included quantum physicists, botanists, and linguists and ranged in age from school-aged volunteers to retired experts in their field. The one thing they had in common was a shared love of science.
All photos by Kirstin Fearnley.