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Office of Educational Programs Holds First Science Literacy Program for Children

Amanda Horn - Science Literacy Program

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Amanda Horn, an educator at Brookhaven Lab, teaches children about the expansion of the universe at the Science Literacy Program.

The Office of Educational Programs (OEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory held the first Science Literacy Program on Feb. 18 at the Science Learning Center for third through sixth grade children of Brookhaven Lab employees. 

“The speck that started it all,” Amanda Horn, OEP educator, read aloud to a group of small, wide-eyed children, looking up at the pictures of the Big Bang.

Horn was thrilled to see such a good turnout for the program and to teach the kids about the Big Bang. Using this creative storytelling process she explained how facilities like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven Lab operate. 

“I have a big passion for science and I loved reading when I was younger,” said Horn. “So I wanted to bring those two things together and have an activity as well.”

Horn read a couple books to the kids about how the universe began and then provided an activity, where they would blow up a balloon to represent the expansion of the universe. 

“This is simple material for really complex ideas that aren’t always easy to explain to kids,” she said. “I hope the kids were able to take something away from the program.”

Nina Rivera, a senior administrative secretary at Brookhaven Lab, had her two daughters, a fifth and a ninth grader, attend the program. 

“I think this created a nice visual for the kids and I like that it was more hands-on,” said Rivera. “The kids seemed really involved.” 

Horn hopes to continue doing similar programs for all ages at the Science Learning Center. “We have to learn about these things one step at a time,” she said. “It’s all about getting kids excited about science!”

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.  The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.  For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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