ATDD Hosts Kids Day

June 2018

ARL’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division is hosting their first Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day tomorrow, June 6, 2018. While the nationwide event is usually held in April, ATDD is inviting children to participate in a variety of outdoor activities that highlight the lab’s outdoor measurements. Fifteen children are registered to attend the event, which was thoughtfully planned by a three-person committee hoping to show the fun and excitement of science while facilitating new friendships.

The day’s agenda includes numerous activities designed to showcase ATDD’s research and development efforts in the fields of air quality, dispersion, and climate science. ATDD’s Director, Dr. Bruce Baker, will welcome the children to the lab, after which the U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN) team will guide them on a tour that includes the wind tunnel, instrument shop, and CRN station. Other inside activities include an explanation of instrumentation, including a size-to-size comparison of new and old technology ranging from weather station instruments to computers, the chance to conduct “speed interviews” with four scientists, and a special guest appearance by members of the weather team from the local Knoxville, Tennessee, channel WATE, who will help explain how ATDD’s research is transitioned for use in forecasting.

When the kids head outside, they’ll not only assemble a cloud creation during craft time and enjoy an ice cream social, but they’ll also be treated to a demonstration of a small unmanned aerial system and the launch of a weather balloon! Hopefully this immersive STEM education opportunity will convince some of the children that working for NOAA is what they want to do when they grow up.

Update: Photos from the event are below. All images Credit: NOAA.

Kids watching lab experiment
Conducting a lab experiment
Scientist explaining two drones on table
Learning about sUAS
Holding a radiosonde (balloon) just before launch
Readying for a balloon launch
Kids at table with their craft projects
Real and craft weather stations