University, Health Sciences Center to Offer Demonstrations at Third Annual Atlanta Science Festival Exploration Expo

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ATLANTA – Mercer University and Mercer Health Sciences Center are again major sponsors of the Atlanta Science Festival, which culminates in the Exploration Expo on March 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., in Centennial Olympic Park. The expo is free and open to the public.

The third annual expo will promote science exploration, discovery and innovation with more than 100 interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, mind-blowing demonstrations and performances. Last year’s event drew more than 17,000 participants of all ages.

Mercer’s booth will be located in the Discover Zone, one of five zones around the park that allow attendees to more easily plan their day.

Faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts, School of Engineering, College of Health Professions and College of Pharmacy will offer the following demonstrations throughout the day:

Dr. K’s Mad Science Extravaganza: Experiments in Biology and Chemistry

Dr. Jennifer Knaack, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences and co-director of the Center for High Complexity Diagnostics, will lead a hands-on biology activity and two chemistry demonstrations designed to teach students about fundamental biological and chemical concepts. Participants will be able to extract their own DNA from cheek swabs and transfer it to a necklace that can be taken home, create their own “silly putty” from glue and liquid starch and see “fog bubbles” made by dropping dry ice into water and applying dish soap.

Fill the Right Pill

College of Pharmacy students representing the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists will help participants understand the composition of their medications. Medication vials will be “filled” with an assortment of candies representing different, essential ingredients. Younger participants will focus on filling the exact amount of required materials, while older participants will focus on the different types of ingredients used in making a medication.

Fitness is Fun

Dr. Alyssa Fiss, associate professor and chair of physical therapy, will provide a circuit of three stations where children and adults rotate through basic fitness activities and discuss how the activities impact their overall health. The stations will test cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.

Microscope Building Project

Dr. Kevin Drace, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Michael Moore, professor of biology, will give participants the opportunity to construct their own model van Leeuwenhoek microscope and use it to make observations and predictions about the magnification power of different size lenses.

Robotics Demonstration

Dr. Anthony Choi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the Mercer Robotics Club will demonstrate a Universal Command Center for control of multiple unmanned aerial and ground robotic systems.

A complete list of Exploration Expo exhibits and performances can be found at AtlantaScienceFestival.org.

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Kyle Sears