Earth Day Draws Kids to Lawn of Bldg. 1
Photos: Ernie Branson
NIH observed Earth Day on Apr. 26, the same day that several parts of NIH held their own individual versions of Take Your Child to Work Day.
Under tents erected on the lawn of Bldg. 1, children and parents/guardians could learn about wildlife, conservation, eco-friendly workplace initiatives, the beneficial aspects of insects and the significance of tree rings. Free tree seedlings were also given away.
NIH used the occasion to reveal winners in the annual “What Is IT? contest. The 2012 version of the competition, sponsored by the NIH Environmental Management System, attracted some 115 responses, of which about 44 correctly used the two-word scientific name of the organism—Panax quinquefolius.
According to contest sponsors, there were many submissions for American ginseng/ginseng/Panax ginseng, “but since the rules specifically stated that we needed the scientific name, they have been excluded. There were several guesses for ginger, mandrake root and a few other items.”
The names of those who guessed correctly were displayed on a poster at the Earth Day observance.
American ginseng is native to the eastern U.S. and Canada and is sometimes cultivated in China. Other species of plants referred to as ginseng with different medicinal properties are native to Siberia and Asia. Look for more information about the IT biodiversity organism at http://nems.nih.gov.
Above, children and their parents/guardians take advantage of Earth Day exhibits on the lawn of Bldg. 1. Below, left, the annual tree giveaway attracted many patrons, as did a visit by the NIH Federal Credit Union mascot KC (right), who was part of many photo opportunities.
Above (l), visitors view insects such as bedbugs at varying magnifications. At right, Martha Blalock of ORS’s Division of Medical Arts greets people at her “green team” table. Below (l), a youngster learns how smoke detectors work. At right, ORF’s Jim Carscadden points out how rings indicate a tree’s age.