Science Thursday: Come See EPA Research In Action!

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.

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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.