NLM Fun at the STEM Festival

a young girl watches a young woman brush a 3D-printed hand

NIH was a major presence at the Health & Medicine section at the fifth USA Science & Engineering Festival this spring.

It was STEM on a grand scale as NLM took part in activities at the NIH pavilion of the Health & Medicine section at the fifth USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF) this spring. Families filled the NIH pavilion, where they could engage in more than 30 hands-on activities focusing on health, biomedical, and behavioral science topics. Laughter, gasps of surprise, and lots of enthusiasm were in the air on the part of parents, family members, and teachers.

The nation’s largest biennial celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), this year’s event attracted a record-breaking crowd of more than 370,000 people as enthusiasts of all ages explored the mysteries and delights of STEM at the Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Fun and games—plus serious knowledge—at the NLM booth

five women pose as a group

Enthusiastic NLM volunteers (from left): Melanie Modlin, Elena Leon, Shannon Sheridan, Linda Smith (holding Toxie the cat, mascot of the “Toxic Toss” game), and Maria Fleitas.

As children tossed beanbags in game that NLM called “Toxic Toss,” NLM volunteers from across the Library taught them about common hazardous substances and the potential risk to human health when they’re not handled properly.

Children also were invited to color images from NLM’s popular online exhibition, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine, and pictures of DNA and gene structures. This was a way to highlight items from NLM’s collection. As the world’s largest medical library, NLM has more than 28 million books, journals, and other items.

If seeing is believing…

Check out this video montage for an overview of NIH activities at the 2018 festival.

By Melanie Modlin, NLM in Focus staff writer

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