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Scripps Florida Scientists Reach Out in ‘CELLebration’



Scripps Florida Scientists Reach Out in ‘CELLebration’

Scientists from Scripps Florida invite members of the community to explore the wonder of scientific discovery and experience new hands-on activities for all ages at the third annual “CELLebrate Science with Scripps Florida” public science festival, from 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday, February 4, 2012. The event will be held inside The Gardens Mall, located one mile east of I-95 on PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens (map).

Featuring new demonstrations and interactive exhibits designed to spark the curiosity of children and adults, “CELLebrate Science with Scripps Florida” will take visitors along the path to discovery with a series of activity stations located throughout the lower level of the mall. Hosted by more than 100 Scripps Research scientists and staff, activity stations will enable visitors get up close and personal with the people behind the research while learning about the latest biomedical breakthroughs.

“We were thrilled when The Gardens Mall asked us to return for a third year,” said Deborah Leach-Scampavia, director of education outreach for Scripps Florida, the East Coast campus of The Scripps Research Institute. “More than 4,000 people joined us for the 2011 event, so this year we wanted to raise the bar and offer several fantastic new experiences, along with a few surprises and updates to favorites from previous years.”

This year’s activities include a variety of exhibits:

  • "Create a Chemical Reaction," a new interactive exhibit on loan from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, will enable aspiring chemists to try their hand at creating virtual molecules from elements on the periodic table. Visitors will be able to take a drag-and-drop approach to the elements, mixing and matching them in a virtual chemical lab.
  • From exploding hydrogen bubbles to super-cold liquid nitrogen, chemistry demonstrations are back this year, showcasing some of the chemistry research taking place at Scripps Florida and providing new hands-on activities for kids.
  • From giant robots that allow up to one million experiments in 24 hours to miniature laboratories embedded on microchips, devices that speed up the process of scientific discovery will be on display at the technology booth.
  • Visitors will be able to learn how scientists study sea slugs, fruit flies, roundworms and zebrafish to understand basic human biology, looking at these model organisms through a microscope and discovering why they are so important to biomedical research. Nearby, a giant inflatable planetarium-style dome will showcase a series of short videos creating the illusion that visitors have just stepped inside a living cell.
  • Scripps Florida scientists will be on hand to discuss their research on diverse topics, searching for clues that may one day lead to new treatments for devastating diseases such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, hepatitis C, and Alzheimer's.
  • A booth highlighting Scripps Florida’s education programs will showcase The Scripps Research Institute’s top-10 ranked graduate school, as well as its programs for undergraduates, high school teachers, and K-12 students. Many of the winning projects from Palm Beach County 2011 Science and Engineering Fair will also be on display nearby.
  • Scripps Florida Environmental Health and Safety specialists will illustrate some of the safety measures Scripps Florida employs in the laboratories, as well as the institute’s “green initiatives” designed to reduce its environmental footprint.
  • Visitors will be able to participate in a science scavenger hunt by answering questions and solving simple puzzles based on information and activities at the various booths. Every visitor who completes the scavenger hunt while visiting the booths will receive a commemorative gift and be entered into a raffle to win a special prize.

The Scripps Research Institute is grateful to The Gardens Mall and the Forbes Company for hosting CELLebration.

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CELLebrate Science with Scripps Florida features demonstrations and interactive exhibits. This year’s event will be held Saturday, February 4, from 10 AM to 3 PM.