On Wednesday May 20, the OWCN joined many other state agencies on the West Lawn of the State Capitol at the 21st annual State Scientist Day. Nearly three thousand third to sixth grade students from 30 elementary schools throughout the Sacramento valley learned if they “Got Science?” through hands-on exhibits and experiments.
The OWCN team, led by January Bill and Kaiti Ferguson, manned the Recovery and Transportation mobile clinic (also known as the “RAT Rig”), which acts as a field stabilization center during large oil spill events. Partnering with the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), our exhibit included a tour of our mobile care unit and an overview of the impact oil spills have on the environment and wildlife. All of the children that participated were very enthusiastic to learn about how we care for oiled wildlife even if they were mildly disappointment when they learned that the bird decoy we used was just a prop and not real.
Students also learned about chemistry, preventing pollution, conservation of natural resources, and the importance of plants, insects, and other wildlife through information provided by many other state agencies. State Scientist Day is sponsored by the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) each spring to promote science education and encourage students to explore careers in science.
This is the fourth year the OWCN has assisted in this event, and we are excited to be part of these ongoing efforts to encourage children’s interest in science and nature. It was inspiring to learn how knowledgeable young children already are about the impact of oil spills and to hear that they are genuinely concerned about their impact on the environment.
– Mike and January