As part of the 10th annual Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day on Nov. 9, 2018, nearly 100 middle school students experienced a glimpse of what it is like to be a scientist at NCATS. Sponsored by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) on and near its Montgomery County, Maryland, campus, the annual event includes hands-on science activities and lab tours, with the goal of encouraging careers in related fields.
Students explored several of NCATS’ high-throughput screening robotic labs, viewed images from high-powered electron microscopes and saw science experiments in action. Charles “Pepper” Bonney, who oversees and maintains NCATS’ laboratory equipment, conducted the tour and explained many of the different types of jobs in the lab.
Several NCATS postdoctoral students conducted chromatography experiments with the middle schoolers. Chromatography is a laboratory technique commonly used to separate a mixture of chemical substances into its individual components, so that they can be thoroughly analyzed. The students drew designs on special paper used in lab experiments with both permanent and water-soluble markers to test the different effects that water and ethanol had on the designs. During the experiment, students were able to see how the marker ink traveled up the paper at different speeds in the two types of liquid.
NCATS was one of many academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies that hosted, in total, more than 600 students from Briggs Chaney and Benjamin Banneker middle schools.
View the Flickr album from the event.
Posted December 2018