May is always a big month for us at SoundBio because of the many school science nights and STEM festivals that occur around this time. We were delighted to be invited back to Shoreline's annual STEM Festival held at the Shoreline Community College (SCC). The event is always well attended, with many different groups represented, including (but not limited to): Young Women in Biology, Audubon Society, SCC Mechantronics, Everett's Astronomical Society, Fred Hutch Cancer Center, Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, US Army Corp of Engineers, UW's iGEM Team and Maker Lab NW. Of course, these folks were outdone by the wonderful student exhibits which included fun topics such as a lemon battery, a glowing pendulum, fruit ripening, testing gummy bears in different liquids, and trying to calculate the energy from a peanut! The PNW has some very clever kids.
Two of our volunteers hosted a table for SoundBio where they helped kids extract DNA from strawberries. We love doing this activity at tabling events because it's a fast, easy and safe way to demonstrate the power of science and biology. Many kids have an 'ah-ha' moment when they first see the DNA forming in the tube. We like to bring along some yarn so the kids can proudly wear a 'real' DNA necklace - a 1.5ml microtube clipped onto the yard with the DNA suspended in alcohol. Definitely a very fun and rewarding way to inspire our youth.