• A young boy who visited the APG Earth Day celebration is intrigued as he watches the fan spin on the snap circuit he constructed. The snap circuit consists of a solar panel, fan and meter and it is by the sunlight that entered from the side of the building that he was able to learn about solar energy.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    A young boy who visited the APG Earth Day celebration is intrigued as he watches the fan spin on the snap circuit he constructed. The snap circuit consists of a solar panel, fan and meter and it is by the sunlight that entered from the side of the...

  • Dr. Lisa Marvel, ARL, instructs visitors at the APG Earth Day celebration how to make an environmental snap circuit.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    Dr. Lisa Marvel, ARL, instructs visitors at the APG Earth Day celebration how to make an environmental snap circuit.

  • After completing the construction of their snap circuits, students went outside in the sunlight to witness solar energy. Instructing the students is Dr. Lisa Marvel, ARL.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    After completing the construction of their snap circuits, students went outside in the sunlight to witness solar energy. Instructing the students is Dr. Lisa Marvel, ARL.

  • Dr. Sandy Young, ARL, shows a student a handout that describes the photosynthesis in a cup experiment so she can discuss the experiment later with her parents.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    Dr. Sandy Young, ARL, shows a student a handout that describes the photosynthesis in a cup experiment so she can discuss the experiment later with her parents.

  • Megan Lynch, ARL, teaches students the photosynthesis process using green leaf spinach, a mild baking soda solution, a vacuum process using a plastic syringe and work lights to expedite the process.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    Megan Lynch, ARL, teaches students the photosynthesis process using green leaf spinach, a mild baking soda solution, a vacuum process using a plastic syringe and work lights to expedite the process.

  • The purpose of the ultraviolet bracelet activity was to teach about the danger that exists outdoors that you can't see with the human eye " the danger of ultraviolet or UV radiation. Terri Racine, ARL, shines the ultraviolet flashlight on the white beads to show how they change color in the UV light.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    The purpose of the ultraviolet bracelet activity was to teach about the danger that exists outdoors that you can't see with the human eye " the danger of ultraviolet or UV radiation. Terri Racine, ARL, shines the ultraviolet flashlight on the white...

  • A naturalist from Patapsco Valley State Park displays a turkey vulture (hawk) that was brought in by Scales and Tails at the APG Earth Day celebration on Apr. 26. Also shown is a live owl.

    ARL participates in APG Earth Day celebration

    A naturalist from Patapsco Valley State Park displays a turkey vulture (hawk) that was brought in by Scales and Tails at the APG Earth Day celebration on Apr. 26. Also shown is a live owl.

Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) hosted about 650 children for its annual Earth Day celebration that was held at the Aberdeen Youth Services Center, Apr. 26. Many of the students were from Harford and Cecil County public schools.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) scientists and engineers; Dr. Lisa Marvel, Terri Racine, Jerry Chaney, Megan Lynch, and Dr. Sandy Young, along with volunteers Al Marvel, Ann Bornstein, and Neelam Mehta, staffed four activities: environmental snap circuits, ultraviolet (UV) bracelets, oil contamination in the environment and photosynthesis in a cup.

When visiting the tables of the Marvels, students built environmental snap circuits and then took them outside into the daylight to check to see how they would operate.

"This is very awesome!" said one young visitor to Lisa Marvel after he tried out the snap circuit he built, which consisted of a solar panel, fan and meter.

Lisa Marvel said the purpose of taking the circuit outside was to get enough energy from the sunlight to make the fan go. "We wanted to teach the kids about solar energy," she said.

Small quarter page handouts were given to students describing the experiments to allow them to discuss the experiments later with their parents. The handout for Snap Circuit Green discusses an easytouse, hands-on learning experience and educates on environmentally friendly energy sources and thinking green.

Students attending the Earth Day celebration also participated in the photosynthesis in a cup experiment. In photosynthesis, solar energy is converted to chemical energy. The chemical energy is stored in the form of glucose (sugar). Carbon dioxide, water and sunlight are used to produce glucose, oxygen and water.

Young and Lynch taught the process to the students using green leaf spinach, a mild baking soda solution, a vacuum process using a plastic syringe, and work lights to expedite the process.

The UV bracelets and necklaces were a huge hit among the students. The purpose of this activity was to teach about the danger that exists outdoors that you can't see with the human eye -- the danger of ultraviolet or UV radiation. Students learned that by wearing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, that you can help protect yourself by using these items when you are outside. They also learned how UV radiation can be useful as it makes flowers look like targets to attract bees for pollination.

"Today we used UV sensitive beads and recycled plastic shopping bags to make UV radiation detectors," said Racine. "The children were fascinated to see the beads change color with the ultraviolet flashlight."

The final ARL activity educated students about oil slick/pollution. When an oil spill occurs, oil sticks to fur and feathers impairing waterproofing and insulation and exposing the animal's sensitive skin to extremes in temperature. Animals instinctively try to get the oil off of themselves, which results in the animal ingesting oil and causing damage to its internal organs.

The children were able to visually see rescued birds that were brought to the event by Scales and Tales. Two Naturalists from Patapsco Valley State Park brought in a turkey vulture (hawk) and an owl.

"The success of the event was in no small part due to the collaboration between the APG STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] group [ARL, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), U.S. Army Research and Development Command (RDECOM)] along with various Garrison groups and outside collaboration with the Maryland section of the American Chemical Society, Maryland master gardeners, the Edgewood LEAP [leadership, education, arts and play] program, Picerne Military Housing and Scales and Tales made for a fantastic experience for students, teachers and chaperones," said Young, ARL-APG STEM education outreach office. "Teachers were impressed by the wide-variety of activities for the students to do, the quality of the environmental lessons and the energy of the presenters."

Page last updated Mon May 13th, 2013 at 00:00