Here’s to the Earth

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 18, 2017) — A sense of fun combined with a message about the importance of understanding our planet will be on display this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in University Hall.
UAlbany Family Earth Day
Students observe an experiment in atmospheric sciences. (Photo courtesy of the Times Union)

The University’s 5th Annual UAlbany Family Earth Day, organized by the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences  (DAES) open to children/students from K-12 and their families, will seek to instruct youth about the various earth sciences and, through fun and engaging hands-on activities, see the value in taking care of the Earth. According to Pamela Eck, a graduate teaching assistant in DAES, the goals more specifically consist of:

  • Helping educate students about such fields of study as ecology, climate change, and geology.
  • Emphasizing the importance of keeping the Earth clean and healthy.
  • Sparking an interest and encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM.

Why is Family Earth Day so important? “Earth sciences are the study of the world we live in and how our lives impact that world every single day,” said Eck. “My hope is that this event will provide a fun and exciting way to remind students of just how important these fields of study are and how interesting the relationship between people and the Earth really is."

The day will include numerous activities and presentations to demonstrate a range of earth sciences. Demos include cloud art, cloud in a bottle, can crushing, the planting of a marigold, and a solar oven. In addition to these activities there will be three featured demos: forming ice crystals from ice nuclei, a weather balloon launch and a rotating tank experiment.

This year the organizers are also very excited to announce that for the first time ever Weather Friends, friendly superheroes who engage with the students to make a science experience more memorable, will be participating. They will be handing out trading cards, signing autographs, and teaching kids about the hazards of severe weather and the steps that young people can take to keep themselves and their families safe.

Family Earth Day is sponsored by the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Division for Research and University Auxiliary Services.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.