Parents as Scientists: The Living Laboratory Project

If you’ve visited Science Playground on a recent Sunday morning, perhaps you are one of 185 visitors who have interacted with research scientists in OMSI’s Living Laboratory! A new partnership with Lewis and Clark College funded through a National Science Foundation grant is bringing cognitive development front and central in the museum.

Under My Thumb

At the January OMSI After Dark, more than 40 people gave us their thumbprints (and their bacteria) to help grow a bacterial lawn. A bacterial lawn describes the appearance of bacterial colonies when all the individual colonies on a petri-dish merge together to form a field or mat of bacteria. What we hope to see is a patchwork of the different types of bacteria and fungi.
 
Here is a picture of ours in a large dish.

Join us for National Engineering Week!

The Foundation’s signature program, Engineers Week, celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach across the country to kids and adults alike. Engineers Week is part of many corporate and government cultures and is celebrated on every U.S. engineering college campus. During this week, OMSI will be featuring an engineering themed demo per day in the Vernier Technology Lab:

  • Jitterbugs
  • Wire Towers
  • Computer Guts
  • Snap Circuits
  • Scanning Electron Microscope 

Ask a Scientist - February 2012

Have a science related question? Ask away! We'll track down an answer from one of our OMSI scientists and each month post the answers. 


Q: What is the scientific reason behind what happens when you put a cup of water in window sill and the water disappears? - Janet

A: Water evaporates over time - the water molecules change from a liquid into a gas. The water becomes part of the air you breathe. And it might condense onto the window on a cold day, turning back from a gas into a liquid!

A Counting Catharsis

It was anyone’s game by the time B Watch was stood-down that night. Noah Citron (the low-baller at 1,987 pieces) was close but not quite out. I was secretly rooting for Mike Gil (2,300 pieces). Mike was the only A Watcher in the pool, and the idea of him walking away with the entire bin of B Watch’s midnight snacks plus one vegan cupcake was more than a little entertaining. Being the only vegan in the pool, I wouldn’t be able to savor the victory snacks myself. I was, however, curious about the ship’s going-rate between baked goods and shower-day trades.

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