March 25, 2002

MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Todesco
PHONE: 410-614-4976

Hopkins' Top Researchers Share Their Love of Science with Kids

Hopkins basic sciences researchers think science is cool and they want to show neighborhood children why they think so. On March 28, 90 elementary school students will spend the day in the laboratories of some of the most prominent scientists in the world for the second annual Johns Hopkins Community Science Day.

Eighteen researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine offer hands-on science demonstrations for the entire fifth grade class at Tench Tilghman Elementary School in East Baltimore. The children will watch scientists coax DNA from cells, learn how the brain makes optical illusions, and see a microscopic view of the parasites that cause African Sleeping Sickness, among other things.

Rhoda Alani, M.D., assistant professor of oncology at Hopkins, initiated Community Science Day last year because she was looking for a way to encourage children in the East Baltimore community to aspire toward careers in science. "All of the kids who live around the hospital need a sense of what opportunity is out there and the best thing is to influence a child early," said Alani. "I would like them to leave here with the idea that science is cool and it's fun and it's something they could do." she added.

Each child will participate in at least four science experiments starting at 10:00 a.m. and ending at noon. After lunch, they'll see an hour-long science show by Hopkins post-graduate fellows and graduate students "who will amaze and entertain the children with the mysteries of chemistry, biology and physics," Alani says.

Johns Hopkins Community Science Day is part of the Community of Caring Campaign, an on-going effort to link employees and students at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions with the East Baltimore community. "The children in this neighborhood pass by these buildings every day and the most exposure that most of them will have to any department on this campus is an experience as a patient in the hospital. Community Science Day de-mystifies the medical institutions and allows the kids the opportunity to come here and have one-on-one time with some of our scientists. It's incredibly exciting for them," said Michael Jenkins, administrator Johns Hopkins Health System's Community Services Department.

Community Science Day Schedule
Johns Hopkins University Pre-Clinical Teaching Building,
725 N. Wolfe Street (corner of Wolfe & Monument)
10:00 a.m. – Noon – Science demonstrations
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Science Presentation

For information the day of the event, page Terry Todesco at 410-283-2729.

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