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Koshland Science Museum Announces Summer Programs

Media Contact: Museum Communications Officer, Koshland Science Museum
Phone: 202-334-1201, Email: Museum Communications Officer

Maureen O'Leary, Office of News and Public Information, The National Academies
202-334-2138, Email: Maureen O'Leary

June 16, 2008Washington, DC –The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences has lined up an exciting new slate of events. There is something for everyone this season at Koshland. Make a quantum leap beyond the usual science museum experience and attend a public program this summer!

The schedule of public programs follows. All events are held at the Koshland Science Museum unless otherwise noted.

Free Family Day: Mosquitoes and Larvae and Ticks, Oh My!
Saturday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Do you know how to identify insect pests when you see them? What should you do to help protect yourself and your family from getting West Nile virus and Lyme disease? Do people get dengue fever and malaria in the United States? Dr. Jorge Arias and Fairfax County Health Department staff will be here to give demonstrations and answer your questions.

Dr. Jorge Arias, an expert in vector-borne diseases of the Americas, currently serves as the Environmental Health Supervisor of the Fairfax County Health Department. In this role, he is responsible for directing the Disease-Carrying Insects Program for Fairfax County, Virginia, which focuses on West Nile virus and Lyme disease. His fascinating career has spanned medical entomology in Brazil to various infectious disease positions within the Pan American Health Organization, including Professor, Advisor and Consultant. Dr. Arias received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Whittier College and his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California at Riverside.

This family day event is free to the public. Fairfax County Health Department staff will be on hand to show visitors live insect specimens and answer questions.

Contact the Koshland Science Museum at 202-334-1201 or ksm@nas.edu for more information.

Bacteria Lab: What's growing in our homes? Week 1 of 2
Wednesday, July 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: $15 for both weeks, $10 for week one only
Age Range: 13+

What kinds of bacteria are growing in your sink or your refrigerator? How about on your keyboard at work? Does your soap really reduce the amount of bacteria on your hands? Find out by being an investigative scientist in your own home or workplace!

Join Dr. Keith Lampel of the Food and Drug Administration to discover the world of bacteria in and around us. This two-part science lab kicks off with a hands-on activity in the museum to observe the invisible bacteria that are present all around us. Participants will be shown how to prepare samples in the museum and will be able to take lab supplies with them for further investigation of their own environments.

Dr. Keith Lampel is currently the Director of the Division of Microbiology within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a position he has held since 2005. His research interests include the development of rapid detection methods for food-borne pathogens using DNA-based technology, and identifying the genes in these bacteria that are involved in the development of disease. Dr. Lampel also holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. He was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health before going to the FDA, where he was a research microbiologist for nearly 20 years. Dr. Lampel received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from the University of Miami, Florida, both in Microbiology.

This is the first event of a two-part series looking at bacteria in your environment. The second part of the series, held the evening of Wednesday, July 16, will allow participants to share the results of their investigations and hear more about the current work of the FDA as Dr. Lampel joins us again. Participation in both events is encouraged, but not required.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Contact the Koshland Science Museum at 202-334-1201 or ksm@nas.edu for tickets or more information.

Bacteria Lab: What's growing in our homes? Week 2 of 2
Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 for both weeks, $8 for week two only
Age Range: 13+

What will our citizen scientists discover growing in their homes and workplaces? Do we need to be concerned about what they uncover? Find answers to these questions and discover what the Food and Drug Administration is doing to keep your food safe!

During this second part of our two-part bacteria lab program, participants will share their scientific endeavors from the previous week. Dr. Keith Lampel returns to answer questions about participants’ lab findings and to discuss recent research at the FDA, new technologies, and new initiatives in food safety.

Dr. Keith Lampel is currently the Director of the Division of Microbiology within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a position he has held since 2005. His research interests include the development of rapid detection methods for food-borne pathogens using DNA-based technology, and identifying the genes in these bacteria that are involved in the development of disease. Dr. Lampel also holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. He was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health before going to the FDA, where he was a research microbiologist for nearly 20 years. Dr. Lampel received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from the University of Miami, Florida, both in Microbiology.

This is the second of a two-part series looking at bacteria. The first part of the series, held the evening of Wednesday, July 9, will provide an introduction to bacteria and directions for a science lab that may be completed in the museum or in your own home. Participation in both events is encouraged, but not required.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Contact the Koshland Science Museum at 202-334-1201 or ksm@nas.edu for tickets or more information.

Germ Proof Your Kids: Free Family Day
Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Parents are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages about germs and cleanliness. On the one hand, the news headlines warning about “superbugs.” On the other hand, there is growing concern that over-cleaning and excessive hygiene may weaken children's immune systems. There is real science available to help us understand how to best protect, without overprotecting, our kids.

As part of this free family day, Dr. Harley Rotbart will speak about germ proofing your kids. Families will have opportunities to visit the infectious diseases exhibit and learn more about the germs and bacteria living in and around us.

The Office of Cultural Programs will also offer a guided tour of the Iconagraphy of Infection exhibit at the Keck Building. The tour is best suited for ages 13 and above. Please contact them at arts@nas.edu for more information.

Dr. Harley Rotbart, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at The University of Colorado and The Children’s Hospital of Denver, has answers for parents’ “germ dilemmas”. Dr. Rotbart, Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics, and Professor of Microbiology, has practiced, researched, and taught “germ defense” for the past 25 years. His new book, Germ Proof Your Kids – The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections (ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2008), is a resource for parents and health care providers to help put science back into the discussion of protecting kids from microscopic dangers. In addition to evaluating the traditional approaches to infection prevention (vaccines, antibiotics, etc.), Dr. Rotbart also analyzes the science behind Mom’s advice about the effects of hygiene, nutrition, sleep, stress, exercise, and even wearing boots in the rain on kids’ infection risks.

For more information please contact ksm@nas.edu or call 202-334-1201.

The Marian Koshland Science Museum engages the general public in an exploration of the current scientific issues that affect their lives. The museum's state-of-the-art exhibits, public events, and educational programs provide information that stimulates discussion and provides insight into how science supports decision-making. Located at 6th and E streets, N.W., the museum is easily accessible by metro at the Gallery Place/Chinatown and Judiciary Square stops.

Tickets and additional information are available through the museum at 202-334-1201 or the events page; advance ticket purchase is recommended for all events. Reporters who wish to cover these programs should pre-register.