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Oncofertility at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

By Nadia Johnson

In October 2010, the Center for Reproductive Research (CRR) supported an exhibit at the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, held on the National Mall, in Washington, DC, in which we showcased the Women’s Health Science Program, drew attention to the under-representation of women in the science workforce, and presented knowledge about research focused on women’s reproductive health.  The festival was a great success, so we didn’t hesitate when we were asked to participate in the 2nd annual USA Science & Engineering Festival, which took place in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC on April 28-29, 2012.

The title of our booth this year was “Just Bead It,” and focused on an activity that we do in the Women’s Health Science Program to teach our students about oncofertility – making alginate beads!!

Our activity was a huge attraction for young and old alike…while the youngest could not fully grasp what they were doing, the adolescents and adults were fascinated to learn that this simple material (alginate) which stands in as a pimento in olives, is actually helping us make major advances in preserving female fertility.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival also provided us the unique opportunity to speak with the many fellow educators who were representing their institutions.

The event was a huge success!  This year’s festival contained double the number of exhibitors, and an estimated 150,000 people visited the Expo.  We all enjoyed the lively atmosphere, imbued with science curiosity, discovery, camaraderie and enthusiasm!

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