The second-floor conference room in Building 538 exploded into a blur of motion as children began looking for clues to help Dr. Chaos fill in the last four pieces of “the human genetic code.” With just 10 minutes to solve the puzzle, they rushed around, sifted through science-themed items, and scoured the workspace-turned-escape room for leads. Seven minutes later, they succeeded, triumphantly emerging into the hallway.
Dr. Chaos’ Escape Room, courtesy of Frederick’s Surelocked In Escape Games, was one of more than 40 kid-friendly activities available during NCI at Frederick’s recent Take Your Child to Work Day. As in previous years, the annual event brought hundreds of children to the NCI at Frederick campus for an action-packed day of programs meant to entertain, educate, and spark interest in science.
The escape room was a new activity this year, and judging by some participants’ reactions, it was also one of the most popular. Another newcomer, “Ozobot and OzoCodes Introduction,” delighted children by teaching them how to program diminutive robots. Those who wanted to take a break from the action could stop by Days End Horse Farm Rescue’s corral—also new this year—where they could pet a miniature horse.
As always, there were programs that catered to all tastes. “You Be the Investigator” challenged participants to create a “containment unit” to protect their patient—an egg—as it was transported down a steep incline. In Building 549, the Scientific Library hosted five activities ranging from a book swap to Reading Education Assistance Dogs, four-legged friends who were trained to sit quietly while children read to them. Elsewhere, programs like “Plant Doctors” allowed children to get their hands dirty and perform small scientific investigations.
And, of course, there was plenty of liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Check out the photo roll below for more about the event.