Sci­ence en­thu­si­asts can pop on their gog­gles next month

Ch­e­sa­peake Bi­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory to host open house Sept. 9 in Solomons

Maryland Independent - - News - By DANDAN ZOU dzou@somd­ Twit­ter: @Dan­danEn­tNews

For those in­ter­ested in en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence, a Satur­day, Sept. 9, open house to be hosted by the Ch­e­sa­peake Bi­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory in Solomons may of­fer a peak into the work of sci­en­tists, and the en­vi­ron­ment they work in.

With the sec­ond year of an open house, “our goal is to let peo­ple in the com­mu­nity know about the work we do here,” said Tom Miller, CBL’s di­rec­tor. It is a day meant for the com­mu­nity to learn about “what we do, who we are and why it is im­por­tant.”

Miller said the free event, from 1 to 5 p.m., in­cludes a va­ri­ety of ex­hibits and hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed for all ages.

For ex­am­ple, vis­i­tors can drive an au­tonomous un­der­wa­ter ve­hi­cle in a 6-foot-deep, 8-foot-di­am­e­ter tank filled with wa­ter, Miller said. Driv­ers will be able to see the ve­hi­cle move around through the tank or a com­puter screen linked to the cam­era in the ve­hi­cle.

To make the ac­tiv­ity more fun, peo­ple are also tasked to catch some brightly col­ored rings with a hook in the front of the ve­hi­cle.

Chil­dren at­tend­ing the open house will re­ceive a pass­port and could have their pass­ports stamped for prizes as they move through dif­fer­ent labs and ex­per­i­ments.

At the sci­en­tist selfie sta­tion, vis­i­tors can dress up like a sci­en­tist, pro­vided with items like lab coats, gloves and safety googles to help them look the part.

The open house also in­cludes an ex­hibit of oyster aqua­cul­ture that will al­low vis­i­tors to see and touch oys­ters from 1 month old to 2 years old. In ad­di­tion to oys­ters, vis­i­tors can ex­pect to learn about striped bass, whales and jel­ly­fish.

Vis­i­tors can also take a dock­side tour of the lab’s 81-foot-long re­search boat named af­ter Rachel Car­son, a writer, sci­en­tist and ecologist known for her book “Si­lent Spring.” The boat was named af­ter Car­son to re­flect the im­por­tant role the Mary­land res­i­dent played in rais­ing aware­ness peo­ple have of the en­vi­ron­ment, Miller said.

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended last year’s open house, ac­cord­ing to Jeane Whar­ton, the lab’s as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of devel­op­ment.

“We would love to see a big­ger crowd,” Miller said.

Dur­ing the open house, sci­en­tist He­len Bai­ley will in­tro­duce her new chil­dren’s book “The Grande Tur­tle Ad­ven­ture.”

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