TURLOCK — Middle and high school students got an introduction to the Secret Lives of Cells, peering into pond water and making models as part of a monthly science program at California State University, Stanislaus.
There are 100 trillion cells in the human body and 10 times that many microorganisms living in and on us. Youre kind of a walking petri dish, said Department of Biological Sciences Chair Mark Grobner in introducing the Science Saturday topic.
Biology majors pitched in as assistants for the day, which included peering through microscopes, learning plant and animal cell structures and extracting DNA.
Starr Charles, a sixth-grader at Medeiros Elementary, said she learns a lot at the monthly programs. The last one, on yogurt, was eye-opening, Starr said. It was nasty when we made it, she said, but interesting.
Starr always has been science-centered, said her mother, Raichelle Grays. Its one of the things she loves, and Im trying to foster that.
Thats the goal for the programs, said Grobner. Its to get kids excited about science, he said.
Science Saturdays grew out of a science day two years ago, at which 2,500 visitors poured onto campus. As a biology club officer, Jesus Garcia was part of that original day put on by all the science clubs on campus. Now about to graduate with a degree in biology, Garcia still volunteers with the monthly program he helped found by securing grant funding.
We wanted to find a way to not just do it one day a year, Garcia said. Hopefully it will be something that lasts for a long time.