October 2020
Science History in the Making

It’s hard to put into words what this week’s vaccine news means – exciting and inspiring are such understatements. It has been eight months since our country’s lockdowns began, and it feels like an eternity, yet this is an incredibly short timeframe in terms of vaccine development. A ray of hope arrived this week with Pfizer’s announcement of a 90% effectiveness of its new Covid-19 vaccine currently undergoing trials. There are so many heroes that have stepped up during this pandemic, yet the greatest burden and hope has been placed upon the scientists working to solve this great challenge. Of course there is much time and work ahead before the world can declare victory over the pandemic, but it’s easier to bear when we can see the light and know that ultimately science will win.

History is in the making in more ways than one. Much as the 9/11 tragedy was a call to service to citizens of all ages across our nation, the pandemic is also proving to be a call to service to improve global health and science. Our young people are being shaped in so many ways by the events of 2020. And while many are suffering now, we know these hardships will inspire more to pursue STEM pathways to solve grand challenges in the future.

The Children’s Science Center team is inspired to do our part by continuing our mission and redoubling our efforts to support schools and families. We remain committed to inspiring a love of learning STEM in all children, especially those who need us most. We are grateful to our many existing and new community partners who are helping us develop creative ways to bring fun and educational STEM experiences to all during these challenging times. 

Nene Spivy
Executive Director
Children's Science Center
You're Invited!
Creating a Vibrant STEM Ecosystem for Our Region

Join the Science Center on Wednesday, November 18 at 12:30 PM for our next virtual Community Conversation, the first in a series discussing creating a vibrant STEM Ecosystem for Northern Virginia. Our panel of experts will help define a STEM ecosystem, share examples of successful initiatives in other communities and how we can all come together to support this effort as STEM Champions.
Winter Wonder Lab STEM Kit
Get a start on holiday shopping!
Supplies will be provided in individual activity kits and packaged in a box for your convenience. You just need water, ice, and a few everyday household materials. Kits are designed for elementary aged children and some activities require grown-up supervision. Fun for the whole family! Directions are provided for each activity as well as a few videos to follow along.
Reserve your kit(s) today! Contactless pick-up is offered every Friday and Saturday in December!

Order by December 17 to pick up before Christmas.

This kit will be available through December 24 for pick up on December 26.

Member discounts apply.
Free for members! Email us at membership@childsci.org for your promo code
Winter Break Camps
It's all about the fun!
Each camp is designed for children in grades 2-6 and comes with its own kit!

Each day of virtual camp will consist of three hours of a structured Zoom session with fun science games, hands-on activities and an exciting science demonstration, animal encounter, or behind-the-scenes at the Lab experience led by our expert STEM educators.
Campers will receive a kit full of supplies for hands-on fun! Kits will be available for contactless pick up Friday, December 18 from 4pm to 6pm and Saturday, December 19 from 10am to 12pm.

Out of town? We will provide a list of easy to locate ingredients that can be purchased online or at your local stores.
Congratulations to Northwest Federal Credit Union
Outstanding Corporation

The Children's Science Center extends a heartfelt congratulations to Northwest Federal Credit Union for receiving Governor Ralph Northam's 2020 Volunteerism and Community Service Award as an Outstanding Corporation! Northwest has made a strong commitment to their community by implementing a powerful community service initiative: “Transforming Lives Through Acts of We.” By collaborating with many local organizations, including the Children’s Science Center, NWFCU staff have countless opportunities to serve and receive 24 paid volunteer hours per year. In 2019, Northwest made a transformational gift to the Children’s Science Center as the lead building naming sponsor of the future science center. Thank you, Northwest, for being an Outstanding Corporation and dedicated STEM champion!
Free for members! Email us at membership@childsci.org for your promo code
Volunteer Spotlight
Sarah Ali
How did you first learn about the Children’s Science Center? 
I first learned about the Children’s Science Center from just walking in the mall. Behind the glass I saw children experimenting and I wanted to try it out. I signed up for one of their programs at the time called the Youth Leadership Council, and immediately started to admire the great community of learners that the Center had built. I started volunteering on the weekends in my free time. Since then, I have always been looking for more opportunities to involve myself at the Center. Today, I am one of the co-chairs of the Youth Advisory Board, and I am excited to contribute to the Center’s growing community.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from, school, family, pets, etc: 
I am currently a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. I love to play volleyball, watch horror movies and hang out with my friends and family. I currently do not have any pets, but I often dog sit my neighbors’ and friends’ pets. My other interests include computer science and art, especially the interdisciplinary combination of them. In my free time, I enjoy venturing further into those interests or new subjects and learning new skills.

Why did you get involved with the Children’s Science Center? 
The Children’s Science Center has a diverse community of learners with a unique environment that immediately resonated with me. I have held a previous leadership position at the Children’s Science Center, operated the Center’s booth at Techstravaganza, and showcased my Scrambler projects from Virginia Science Olympiad at the Lab. The more I volunteer and participate, the more I want to help and contribute. I have been able to meet and work with new people while giving back to my community by volunteering at the Children’s Science Center, especially through the Youth Advisory Board. I am really grateful to have this unique volunteer opportunity where I can inspire younger students once in my position.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the Center? 
Coming to the Lab has already massively helped nurture my passion for science. Specifically in the Youth Advisory Board, I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other students passionate about STEM which further developed my understanding of STEM. I especially love that STEM allows people to be ambitious and impels people to ask themselves questions like: what would happen if…? or why does that …? I appreciate the efforts in helping me explore all that interdisciplinary learning has to offer. Watching how students get involved in experiments and ask questions makes me feel so excited to join them. I am amazed at how they manage to make simple experiments more fun and interactive. The different zones and changing experiments always fuel my mind with curiosity. Being part of an open hands-on learning environment that is dedicated to teaching children and instilling a love of science, is a great opportunity that I will gladly take. Also, who doesn’t love making slime?
What scientist do you admire and why? 
 One scientist that I admire is Carl Jung, one of the most influential psychiatrists of all time. He created some of the most well-known psychological concepts, including the collective unconscious, the psychological complex, archetypal phenomena, and extraversion and introversion. Carl Jung is a founder of a branch of psychology called analytical psychology. Not only did his work impact psychology, but also many other fields including psychiatry, anthropology, literature and philosophy.​
How can we inspire young people to become interested in science?        
Students must be interested and motivated to learn before learning can take place. The success of learning one topic can further lead to an increased motivation to learn more. We can inspire young students to be more motivated by exposing them to interactive activities and experiments that make science more fun and interesting. By providing real world applications and passionate instructors, young students can explore useful fields in their future. The Children’s Science Center is a great space for young people to be exposed to such interactive activities and creative environments.

What is one scientific question you would like to see answered in your lifetime? 
A scientific question I hope to see answered in my lifetime would be how our conscience works/was developed and how that makes us human.​

The Children’s Science Center’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of Northern Virginia high school students who contribute to the Children's Science Center's goal of inspiring a love of STEM through student volunteerism, leadership, and collaboration. 
Try It At Home
Guumy Fun
Do you have any candy leftover from Halloween? If you have some gummy bears or gummy worms around, put them to use in this experiment, while you explore the concept of osmosis.
The Children's Science Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
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