Feb. 29, 2020

AN HPI EXCLUSIVE: Science FUNday renders children 342% more likely to wash hands frequently

Jacob Hambrook, PhD student, Hanington lab, UAlberta

This year’s parasitology booth hosted by HPI’s Edmonton affiliates at the University of Alberta proved once and for all that the best things really do happen once every four years on Feb 29th. The University of Alberta’s 2020 Science FUNday was put on by hundreds of volunteers and showed kids and parents the highlights and wonders of science!

Thousands of people poured in to see over 50 different booths and several live shows that ranged from soda bottle rockets to strawberry DNA extraction. The cherry on top of the educational sundae was, of course, the parasitology booth.  Children were fascinated and adults were amused by a wide variety of parasites in jars destined to mesmerize children and adults alike for generations to come. On this day, hundreds of kids passed by the booth, many of them vowing to become vegetarians on the spot after learning everything on the planet that might reside in an undercooked steak! Kids also learned about parasitology in general from a short presentation given at the booth, before working off excess energy trying to infect cardboard beavers with bean bag Giardia. Overall, a more than successful day of spreading the magic of parasites!