USACEHR participates in Bring Your Child to Work Day

Jennifer Rupert and her daughter Emily spool Emily's DNA

During Take Your Child to Work Day at the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research, Jennifer Rupert and her daughter Emily spool Emily's DNA that they swabbed from the inside of her cheek. (Photo by: Crystal Maynard, USAMRMC PAO)

On June 24, the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research participated in Take Your Child to Work Day. The annual event was organized by the National Cancer Institute at Frederick and included activities sponsored by Fort Detrick, tenants and mission partners.

The normally quiet hallways of USACEHR were filled with laughter as parents escorted their children through a fun-filled day of planned activities. The event brought children ages six through 13 to Fort Detrick to learn about what their parents do, as well as encourage them to pursue careers in science and health care. This year, USACEHR had two different programs and 75 children participate.

The activities at USACEHR were planned and executed by several of the command's researchers, who were just as excited by the day as the children were.

"It's great to show kids what I do," said Allison Hoke, a USACEHR research technician. "I want to encourage the next generation to be involved in science, math, engineering and math activities."

The USACEHR researchers taught the children how to extract DNA from strawberries and swab their cheeks for a sample of their own DNA. They also got to see USACEHR's aquaculture laboratory and its inhabitants -- African clawed frogs, tadpoles and fish.

Both David Trader, a research biologist, and Ron Miller, an aquaculture specialist, agree that it is a wonderful experience for the children and for themselves personally.

"It's a wonderful experience, and the kids love the aquatics," shared Miller. "We've been a part of the NCI Take Your Child to Work Day for as long as I can remember."

The Take Your Child to Work Day is an opportunity for USACEHR to expose the kids to a variety of sciences that are part of Army laboratories. The Army requires a range of fields of science to successfully protect the Nation, running the gamut from biology to ecology to chemistry and everything in between.

The Army and USACEHR want to continue to invest in STEM education for children because they are the Army's future workforce and they critical to the success of the U.S. military mission. Bring Your Child to Work Day is the perfect forum to show kids how cool and exciting Army science can be!

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Last Modified Date: 14-Jul-2015