SAN JOSE, California — A preserved giant squid, a real NASA space suit, and make-your-own rockets were some of the top draws at for the youngsters and their families that came to Family Science Days at the AAAS Annual Meeting.
Free and open to the public, Family Science Days features hands-on demos, shows, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. Held 14-15 February in the San Jose Convention Center, the event offers a broad range of educators and scientists promoting an interest in science among the general public.
More than 2,500 people came to the first day of the event, and the overall attendance is expected to be roughly twice that.
"AAAS is delighted to see so many scientists engaging with the public at Family Science Days," said Jeanne Braha, public engagement manager at AAAS. "We hope many of our meeting attendees find ways to engage the public when they return home, and the families that attend continue their science engagement through the many local partners that provided content and shows today."
Other popular activities at Family Science Days involved a "banana linguist" who made diagramming sentences fun, and NASA's Driven to Explore trailer, where visitors could try on astronaut gear and touch one of eight touchable moon rocks in the world.
On the "Meet the Scientists" stage, presentations covered everything from "Monkeys, Millipedes and Medicines" and "Meet an Astronaut!" Tom McFadden the rapping middle-school teacher's "A Biology Rhapsody," was one of the biggest hits.
Family Science Days continues on Sunday, 15 February, until 5:00 p.m. Visitors can pre-register online to save time when arriving. The AAAS event was organized in partnership with the Bay Area Science Festival and presenting sponsor Johnson & Johnson.