Science Alliance, one of our flagship programs has entered the Covid age. Last week, Dr. Noel Chavez, a public health expert and Oak Park resident met with students from Tye Johnson’s 4th grade class at Mann via Zoom.
The kids and Dr. Chavez had a spirited and far-ranging conversation that brought lots of smiles during a very long week.
Among other timely questions, students asked why Coronavirus is named Corona. Dr. Chavez explained that the virus looks like a crown, and Corona is, of course, the Spanish word for virus.
Because Dr. Chavez studies food safety as part of her public health studies, she got a lot of questions about food.
One 4th grader, who shall remain anonymous, asked if it was safe to eat meat that had “expired” 30 days ago –she wanted to know, she said, because she was forced by her parents to eat this expired meat and she didn’t think it was healthy. We’re reminded of an old educator’s saying to parents, “I promise not to believe half the things kids tell me about you, if you promise to do the same for me.” Dr. Chavez confirmed that if the meat really was expired 30 days ago, eating it might not be the best choice.
Dr. Chavez also talked to the students about her newest research study,which looks at the effect of eating large amounts of fish and the danger of mercury concentration.
We know are scientists and students are eager to see each other again in person. Nothing takes the place of hands-on experiments, but we’re so grateful to Dr. Chavez for taking the time to answer questions about food, Corona, and science in general.
If you’d like to volunteer with Science Alliance, let us know.