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Science Thursday: Come See EPA Research In Action!

2010 October 21

By Maggie Sauerhage

When Fall blows in each year, it brings cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and wonderful fall festivals. I find that festivals are a great way to spend the day outdoors with my family, enjoying one another’s company and whatever the festival has in store. This weekend, I will have the pleasure of attending the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival and working at EPA’s booth.

The festival, the culmination of a month-long celebration focused on inspiring the nation’s youth and people of all ages to rediscover science and engineering, will take place October 23 to 24, on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The EPA booth will have numerous activities and experiments waiting for willing participants.

I’m excited to help out with the various tables, such as the one highlighting chemical reactions. Here, EPA staffers will illustrate important scientific concepts by combining various products found in the average kitchen, creating reactions commonly used by chemists.

We will also have a lung capacity challenge where participants can measure their own lung capacity and compare it to national averages and other festival attendees. As an avid runner, I think I have pretty strong lungs. I’ll have to see how I measure up against the thousands of people we are expecting to host over the weekend.

When I first started at EPA, I thought of the agency as simply a regulatory body. I was amazed to learn of all the influential and groundbreaking research EPA scientists are performing. These same EPA scientists and engineers will be on hand both days of the festival using simple and complex activities to demonstrate the work they do and why it is so important to the environment and human health in our country and around the world.

Have you ever wondered how you can do a chemistry experiment in an environmentally friendly way or how your drinking water gets so clean? What does the number of bugs in a stream have to do with water quality? How do genes play a part in a population’s adaptation over time? Come by the EPA booth next weekend to find the answers to all these questions and many more!

About the Author: Maggie Sauerhage is a student at Indiana University majoring in Spanish. She is spending the fall working at EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Note: If you can’t make it to the festival, you can still follow us

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Mitch permalink
    October 21, 2010

    This blog is the biggest waste of government time and money EPA has ever come up with. When will we discuss real issues? Like regulations where the over-reaching arm of the Obama administration is willing to crush American business with one swing by trying to use the EPA to get Cap and Trade backdoored in through regulations rather than law. Pretty environmental experiments may be fun for young college students, but it isn’t what is happening in the real world.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    October 21, 2010

    Different with last century, most of scientists who invented greatest idea, present, by young college students. This is significant what we call “Oh My God!”, including in my country. This paradigm give links images “take and give” between parents and their kids, when they asks or see the kids talented. The times is changing now and its shorter than before. “God Bless American !!!”…..

  3. Blake Stevens permalink
    October 22, 2010

    Most interns don’t get paid these days. Don’t you have more important things to do rather than pick on college students?

  4. Denis S permalink
    October 22, 2010

    I found this blog to be interesting. This country definitely needs to get young people interested in science again.

  5. solarsolar permalink
    October 23, 2010

    Is the learning curve that steep, really.. I dont know how this new generation of kids that have no way of seeing the big picture and mother earth in all her glory can come to any sort of balance.

  6. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 24, 2010

    Such programs are great to have. We need a diverse workforce in science and engineering and these types of activities help stimulate interest in students in these types of career paths. The more American students we can get interested in these types of jobs, the less will be the need to bring in foreign workers to do them or to have to export the jobs overseas. So these programs are teriffic and need to continue and to spread to more parts of the country. I also know that Project PACER has a program in the middle and high schools in Minnesota to interest disabled middle and high school girls in possible careers in science and engineering–another good program that should be expanded. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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