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Rockville Science Day: Rocketry, Runoff and Rodents

Montgomery College hosted 2,500 people at the city's science fair on Sunday.

Rockville residents celebrated chemistry, biology, rocketry and many other branches of science as part of the 22nd annual Rockville Science Day on Sunday at .

A Community and Education section in the Campus Center featured an exhibit presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Women in Engineering.

“We’re trying to let girls and boys know that math and science are fun,” said Carolyn Carroll, a statistician and member of IEEE WIE, an international organization that promotes women engineers and scientists. “You get to do all sorts of fun things. We get to do things that make the future.”

Several children at the Women in Engineering exhibit participated in hands-on activities, including fun with oobleck. The exhibit included a map with pushpins marking each place careers in engineering had taken the women staffing the table.

The event was sponsored by the City of Rockville, the Rockville Consortium for Science and Montgomery College.

At Monday's Rockville City Council meeting, Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio reported that she was among about 2,500 people who visited the more than 60 exhibits.

Marcuccio said she especially enjoyed the presentation of an Albert Einstein impersonator.

"He was very clever," Marcuccio said. "He used the stage to teach relativity and he'd put a child in a chair and then he'd move it and he'd ask as to 'Where were you and what do you think about what happened?'"

The Society for Ocean Sciences was one of the exhibitors in the Nature and Environment category. The nonprofit focuses on research, conservation and education, said co-founder and director Claire Hudson. The organization's Plankton and Nutrient Studies program, or PLANS, is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and gives students hands-on experiences in studies on the Chesapeake Bay.

Sustainable Rockville, an environmental initiative of the city, demonstrated how residual fertilizers and other runoff flows off our lawns, into storm drains and eventually into the bay.

There were also animals ranging from iguanas to mice to a tortoise.

Many exhibitors gave kids a taste of the career options in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The Engineering and Technology section offered everything from robotics to measurements by the  to flight simulations. There was the college's Engineers Without Borders chapter, hovercraft from the University of Maryland, College Park and a rocket launch.

Exhibitors outside included the Montgomery County Historical Society, which showed what medical instruments looked like during the Civil War.

Other exhibitors included John Maddox of Maddox Engineers  & Surveyors, who presented surveying equipment from the turn of the century, and the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington DC's electric car.

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