Free Science Saturdays offered in Oak Ridge

ORAU Science Saturdays

Oak Ridge Associated Universities has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to bring students and scientists together through a weekly program called Science Saturdays. (Image courtesy of ORAU)

Oak Ridge Associated Universities has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to bring students and scientists together through a weekly program called Science Saturdays.

Students in grades 8-12, along with their parents, are invited for six Saturday morning presentations in February and March where they will learn about a variety of engaging science topics through interactive presentations and hands-on activities.

“Science Saturdays provide a unique opportunity for students to have direct interaction with scientists from ORNL,” said Marie Westfall, interim associate director for ORAU’s Center for Science Education. “Through this program, we hope to excite students about the subject of science by introducing subjects and activities not found in their daily education.”

One local teacher, paired with an ORNL scientist, will cover discussion topics such as climate change and climate modeling with supercomputers, nuclear sciences, robots and sensors, neutron detection, and light diffraction.

During the first Saturday program, which drew more than 150 participants, students used kits to create models of carbon atoms and learned about light diffraction and its similarity to the workings of neutrons by shining lasers through a variety of sieves.

Upcoming topics include:

  • Feb. 16—Climate Change and Modeling with Supercomputers
  • March 2—Materials Genome Project and Nuclear Sciences
  • March 9—Robotics and Remote Handling
  • March 16—Radiation Detection and Safeguards
  • March 23—The Science of Rainbows

The programs, held in ORAU’s Pollard Auditorium, begin at 9:30 a.m. and are expected to end around 11:00 a.m. Participation is free. Please visit for registration and further program information.


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