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Top Researchers Reach Out

You've heard about National Lab Day, with STEM professionals visiting classrooms nationwide. It's not to be confused with the U.S. National Laboratories, where top researchers are busily studying plasma, cryogenics, renewable energy, and counter-terrorism. Yet, many Labs also offer school visits, complete with mobile labs, hands-on kits, and experts. Here, we've highlighted four Labs in New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, and New Mexico. Teachers elsewhere can explore the online resources or check for Labs near them.

National Laboratories Around the Country

This activity from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory involves students, grades 6-8, in the formation of crystals on glass slides. In conducting their experiment, students learn about basic principles that guide the work of materials engineers and scientists.

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Several National Laboratories offer web-based educational materials. Some, including the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, send scientists and engineers out for visits to area classrooms. 

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With tight funding and other pressures, schools are taking fewer field trips. So now, museums are taking their show to the schools, via classroom visits, videoconferencing, and computer-based lessons. The outreach benefits schools and museums, but kids could lose out, missing "the wow factor of actually seeing that huge Triceratops skeleton."

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 FEedback from the teachers

testWhat Was It Like?

If your school joined National Lab Day to sponsor a visiting engineer, scientist or professional, we want to hear from you. What were the students' reactions, the benefits or drawbacks? Do you have plans for future years? Teachers are the real experts, so please, send us an email and fill us in!

To celebrate National Lab Day, through the month of May, eGFI is offering a free poster and 5 additional copies of eGFI magazine for every order of 25 magazines ($100). To order, go to the eGFI store, request any multiple of 25 magazines, and type "NLD" in the box marked "Other." Leave the poster quantity blank - we'll  know to send you one! This offer will be valid through May 30, 2010.

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