NYSCF Hosts Inaugural Family Stem Cell Day

This past weekend, NYSCF opened its doors to students in the New York City area for its first ever Family Stem Cell Day.

Family Stem Cell Day is an event that allows students grades K-12 to learn about research, tour NYSCF’s labs, and participate in science-themed activities (everything from digitally coloring cell images to making slime!).

The event began with a short welcome presentation about stem cell research and a group photo. Then, guests were invited to begin moving through the day’s 13 stations, each offering a glimpse into a different aspect of science.

In NYSCF’s labs, guests were allowed an up-close look at the research process, observing firsthand how NYSCF’s robots are making stem cells, exploring the role of electricity in the human body (did you know you can power a light bulb with just static electricity from your own body?) and learning about NYSCF’s plans to send cells into outer space.

Many of these stations allowed students to peer into microscopes and observe bioengineered bone, real neurons, and beating heart cells.

“It looks like a starry night,” remarked one student gazing upon a dish of cells.

Downstairs in NYSCF’s cafeteria and lecture space, students could exercise their creativity by assembling biological structures out of pipe cleaners and coloring real cell images captured by NYSCF researchers. Guests were also invited to make slime, grab a friend and dress up like a scientist for a photo booth, and watch a demonstration on the magic of liquid nitrogen (during which students got to snack on Dippin’ Dots while learning how they are made).

Family Stem Cell Day is unique because it provides students the opportunity to speak one-on-one with researchers and ask questions about stem cells, NYSCF’s work, and what it’s like to be a scientist. This was especially exciting for students who already harbored a strong interest in science (or as one student put it: “Today was the best! I met a REAL scientist and got his autograph!”)

NYSCF believes that the future of science depends on participation from younger generations, and as such, we are dedicated to getting students excited about STEM fields. Our staff had a great time meeting so many enthusiastic future scientists, and we look forward to the next Family Stem Cell Day!