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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 10, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 29
Discovering the wonders of science

Flame on. Julie Brunelle, a research technician in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, shows Briona Horsey how to change the metal composition of a penny with a little help from a Bunsen burner..

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Eighty-two students from the Fort Worthington Elementary School came to the East Baltimore campus on March 30 to have a little science fun, courtesy of some of the most prominent researchers in the world.

For the sixth annual Johns Hopkins Community Science Day, dozens of faculty and students at the School of Medicine offered hands-on science demonstrations to Fort Worthington's fifth- and sixth-grade students.

Among other activities, the students got close up with nematodes from the lab of Geraldine Seydoux, professor of molecular biology and genetics; learned about crystals from Cynthia Wolberger, a professor of biophysics and biophysical chemistry; and examined banana DNA with faculty, staff and students from the lab of Carol Greider, director of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department.

Each student participated in at least four science experiments held at JHMI's Wood Basic Science and Hunterian buildings. After lunch, the students were treated to a space presentation in Mountcastle Auditorium by John Stoke from the Space Telescope Science Institute and "amazing optical illusions" performed by Jeremy Nathans, a professor of molecular biology and genetics.

Rhoda Alani, an associate professor of oncology at the School of Medicine, founded Community Science Day in 2001 in an effort to encourage children in the East Baltimore community to aspire to careers in science. The event is part of the Community of Caring Campaign, an ongoing effort to link employees and students at JHMI with the surrounding community.

The next Community Science Day will be held on April 21 in the Bunting Blaustein Cancer Research Building, where 125 children from Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary will visit four labs and take part in several science-oriented presentations.


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