Museum outreach event to expose kids to science careers

Children observe a scientist perform a demonstration at the Museum of Science and Industry’s Fall Fling science outreach event in 2010. Photo credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry

A great way for children to learn about careers in science is to meet with the scientists themselves.

That’s what this Saturday’s Spring into Science event at the Museum of Science and Industry is all about. An estimated 1,000 kids and parents from more than 60 schools and community organizations across Chicago will have the opportunity to learn about science careers directly from the professionals themselves.

Fermilab will be among the more than 30 universities, industries, professional organizations and labs that will have representatives stationed at tables as the children, ages 8 through 18, pass through to meet them and learn about what they do.

“Our goal is to expose kids to a broad range of opportunities in science, technology and medicine, and give them a chance to talk to real people who work in those fields,” said Lizza Igoe, education coordinator at the museum and organizer of the event. “Every year, kids seem to walk away learning something they didn’t know.”

Mike Albrow

Particle physicist Mike Albrow and senior technician Linda Purcell-Taylor are looking forward to talking to the students about what they do at Fermilab.

“I would like the kids to get enthusiastic about science,” said Albrow, who has been involved in science outreach for elementary and high school students for many years. He is part of an initiative at Fermilab to talk to 10,000 kids in the classroom each year about science.

Although the responses range from excited enthusiasm to apparent boredom, Albrow believes it is worthwhile to keep trying to show them how fun science can be.

In order to explain what she does at Fermilab, Purcell-Taylor will bring along a motor controller and a sample profile monitor, which is used to show the position of the beam in a particle accelerator.

Linda Purcell-Taylor

Purcell-Taylor believes science outreach for children is important “because you’ve got to start from the ground up.”

“In order for our country to continue to make advances in science, we have to keep everybody involved, and that includes the kids,” she said.

Professionals from the Fermilab community who would like to volunteer at this event are invited to contact Lizza Igoe.

Christine Herman