|NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak hosts Picture Puzzle Trivia, a Bldg. 1 event that explored health science facts.
Where can you tour a pathology lab, learn
how to draw blood, visit live birds and
reptiles and observe smoking’s effects on
the respiratory system? Oh, and drag adults
toward the candy shop and knock on office
doors then run, too?
Only at NIH’s 24th Take Your Child to
Work Day/Earth Day, of course!
This year, more than 4,100 students
participated in over 190 activities on Apr.
26. They learned about vital services their
parents and guardians provide at NIH,
explored career opportunities in medical research and had fun while doing it.
Around 9:30 a.m., a small group of
students, their parents and guardians
gathered outside the NCI Autopsy Suite in the Clinical Center.
nurses, surgeons and
lawyers donned their
medical scrubs, were
warned not to touch
anything unless they
wore gloves and told, “If
you don’t feel well, let
me know.” The students
listened intently as they
learned there’s more to
pathology than what’s
portrayed on forensics
crime drama television
|At left, the NIH Blood Bank’s Colleen Bowman describes how ABO blood types are identified. At right, NIH chief officer for scientific workforce diversity Dr. Hannah Valantine (l), a cardiologist, explains how cardiovascular catheterization is performed. See more TYCTWD images online.
PHOTOS: LISA HELFERT, CHIA-CHI CHARLIE CHANG
In another part of the
CC, technologists from
the departments of laboratory medicine
and transfusion medicine gave interactive
presentations about chemistry, hematology,
immunology, microbiology and phlebotomy during the annual Fantastic Voyage event. Other than technologists, no adults were allowed in the room—“Sorry, parents!”—until it was time for photos.
|Two boys take a break from the day’s activities to climb the Centennial Anchor at the intersection of Center and South Drives.
NIAID’s Christina McCormick brought her son, Kevin, for the 4th time. This year, Kevin, who wants to be a scientist when he grows up, enjoyed the police department’s K-9 demonstration and extracting DNA from a strawberry.
Elsewhere on campus, students, their parents and accompanists took part in Earth Day activities inside Bldg. 45 and under tents on Bldg. 1’s lawn. This year’s theme was “End Plastic Pollution.” Indoors, park rangers from the Scales and Tales program brought birds and reptiles, including hawks and snakes.
Outside on the lawn, kids and their chaperones could grab a bite to eat from one of many food trucks and learn about electric vehicles, the area’s waterways and wildfire prevention.
Activities continued into the afternoon. On the CC’s 7th floor breezeway, Dr. Amisha Barochia and physician assistant Kerry Ryan, both from NHLBI’s Pulmonary Branch, staffed a booth with information about the anatomy and function of lungs. The booth featured two sets of preserved pig lungs: one set healthy and another showing the damage that could occur from smoking.
|Kids looks on in astonishment at the CC’s Fantastic Voyage event.
Students could touch the lungs and inflate them with a foot pump. At first, Barochia said, most children are put off by the smell and reluctant to touch the lung. She hopes the demonstration will deter students from smoking.
NCI’s Larry Pierce’s son, Cole, touched the lung. Of the experience, he explained, “It’s cool, but I’d rather stick with the rubber” lungs.
All in all, it was another successful TYCTWD/Earth Day, informing and entertaining both adults and students.
|At left, NCI postbaccalaureate Genesis Rivera-
Marquez demonstrates the properties of dry
ice. At right, a child uses a stethoscope to listen to her heart while her mother looks on.
|At left, CC DLM’s Char-Dell Edwards explains how bacteria is grown on agar petri dishes. At right, participants look on as NCI’s Dr. Christopher Trindade points to a human brain.
|At left, Rafiq Perry, 7, and his mother, CIT’s Rashanna Carter, take part in NIH’s Earth Day festivities. At right, before participating in balance and strength
tests, youngsters played a fun game of body
bingo at the “Function Junction” in the CC’s
Rehab Clinic. Every child who won at bingo
received a whistle.
NIEHS Celebrates Earth Day With Science, Music
|Residents of the Croasdaile Retirement Village keep music in their lives by rehearsing and performing around the Durham area in the Croasdaile Chorale.
A unique mix of science and music drew an enthusiastic crowd Apr. 22 for an NIEHS-sponsored Earth Day celebration at the downtown Durham Convention Center. The Music and Your Health community forum featured talks by scientists and leaders of local organizations devoted to the healing power of music, with performances by professional and amateur musicians alike.
In opening remarks, NIEHS and National Toxicology Program director Dr. Linda Birnbaum spoke of the presence of music in our environment. “We’re particularly interested in its health benefits, making sure that music is a part of our everyday lives,” she said.
|John Oxendine used a drum and a double flute to demonstrate the role of music in Lumbee tribal life.
|Jazz singer Nnenna
Freelon gave the closing
PHOTOS: STEVE MCCAW
Co-organizer Dr. Brandy Beverly, an NTP health scientist, was inspired by the June 2017 joint production by NIH and the Kennedy Center. “I knew we needed to do something like that here,” said Beverly, who is also a violinist with the Durham Medical Orchestra. “It’s a great way to integrate music in our lives while exploring the science behind its benefits.”
Beverly went to Dr. Laura Thomas, a neuroscientist in the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training. Thomas was part of the team led by NIH
director Dr. Francis Collins that planned both the
Kennedy Center event and an earlier conference in
January 2017. “What better way to talk about music
in the environment than to tie it in with Earth Day?”
The program opened with Lumbee tribal member
John Oxendine explaining the importance of
music in ritual
and daily life and
of traditional flute
music. “When our
elders sing the old
songs they knew
as a child, it’s
medicine to them,”
He was followed
by three scientists
can result from
how the brain
“Music engages lots of different regions of
the brain, and musical training can enhance
those connections,” he said. Dr. Heidi White
described a pilot study using a patient’s musical
preferences in the treatment of dementia. “There
was a statistically significant decrease in the
severity of symptoms…language improvements, a
greater volume of speech and more emphasis on
reminiscence,” she said. Dr. Neema Sharda directs
the Confusion Avoidance Led by Music (CALM)
project. “We hope to shrink the risk of delirium
and use personalized music to modulate the need
for pain medications,” said Sharda. In one study,
65 percent of her patients reported a positive
effect on mood and decreased delirium risk.
Musical performers included the Durham Medical
Orchestra; the Croasdaile Chorale, composed of
residents of the Croasdaile Retirement Village;
and Kidznotes. Six-time Grammy-nominated jazz
singer Nnenna Freelon closed the day with an
interweaving of storytelling and song.
The event was a first for NIEHS. “Since I became
director of NIEHS we’ve made a tradition of
sponsoring community forums,” said Birnbaum.
“We’re going to start making music a part
of our journey towards health.” According to
Thomas, NIH plans to offer more opportunities to
investigate music as a therapeutic intervention.
“This event continues that conversation,” Thomas