Kids, Parents Enjoy Meeting the Directors
NIH director Dr. Francis Collins, principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak and NIH deputy director for extramural research Dr. Mike Lauer took time out of their busy day to host a Take Your Child to Work Day session in Bldg. 1’s Wilson Hall. More than 100 kids from grades 1-12 took part in a Meet the Directors event.
“The parents really appreciated that Francis, Larry and Mike spent time with their kids,” said Dr. Sharon Milgram, director of the Office of Intramural Training and Education. “It’s a really nice opportunity to see this side of the NIH leadership.” She introduced the leadership after talking briefly about careers in STEM.
When he was a kid, Collins told the group, he wanted to be a truck driver, then considered being a country singer. But a teacher encouraged him to use his love of chemistry in the health field. He talked about some of today’s most pressing medical problems and said we need all kinds of people to get involved with such projects as the Cancer Moonshot and Precision Medicine Initiative to help advance health worldwide.
Collins then serenaded the room with his Walking through the Genes, to the tune of Del Shannon’s Runaway, in which the chorus goes: “I wonder why, you’ve got an A and I’ve got a G there; what does that say? Amazing DNA.”
Tabak then hosted a spirited game of NIH Jeopardy, featuring questions drafted by OITE staff. With clickers in hand, kids chose clues from two categories: Doctors and Weird Health Facts. All children left with a certificate of participation.—Dana Talesnik