For those interested in environmental science, a Saturday, Sept. 9, open house to be hosted by the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons may offer a peek into the work of scientists, and the environment they work in.
With the second year of an open house, “our goal is to let people in the community know about the work we do here,” said Tom Miller, CBL’s director. It is a day meant for the community to learn about “what we do, who we are and why it is important.”
Miller said the free event, from 1 to 5 p.m., includes a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities designed for all ages.
For example, visitors can drive an autonomous underwater vehicle in a 6-foot-deep, 8-foot-diameter tank filled with water, Miller said. Drivers will be able to see the vehicle move around through the tank or a computer screen linked to the camera in the vehicle.
To make the activity more fun, people are also tasked to catch some brightly colored rings with a hook in the front of the vehicle.
Children attending the open house will receive a passport and could have their passports stamped for prizes as they move through different labs and experiments.
At the scientist selfie station, visitors can dress up like a scientist, provided with items like lab coats, gloves and safety googles to help them look the part.
The open house also includes an exhibit of oyster aquaculture that will allow visitors to see and touch oysters from 1 month old to 2 years old. In addition to oysters, visitors can expect to learn about striped bass, whales and jellyfish.
Visitors can also take a dockside tour of the lab’s 81-foot-long research boat named after Rachel Carson, a writer, scientist and ecologist known for her book “Silent Spring.” The boat was named after Carson to reflect the important role the Maryland resident played in raising awareness people have of the environment, Miller said.
More than 500 people attended last year’s open house, according to Jeane Wharton, the lab’s assistant director of development.
“We would love to see a bigger crowd,” Miller said.
During the open house, scientist Helen Bailey will introduce her new children’s book “The Grande Turtle Adventure.”