The Lawrence Brings Science to the White House

May 10, 2022

Lawrence Hall of Science visitors and staff are very accustomed to the sound of excited children exploring science.  On April 18, however, the familiar cries of laughter and discovery rang out not in our exhibits or on our plaza, but on the South Lawn of the White House! The Lawrence and Science at Cal took our unique brand of engaging science activities on the road to Washington, D.C. for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition dating back to 1878 in which Washington, D.C. area children are invited to celebrate Easter on the White House grounds with games and other activities. This year’s event featured the theme of “EGGucation,” transforming the lawn into a school community full of educational activities. The Lawrence was one of just two science-themed partners, and one of two museums invited to participate. In all, over 30,000 people were invited to join the festivities, including military families, D.C. area residents, and crew members from the U.S. Navy submarine U.S.S. Delaware and their families.

Despite the gloomy weather, thousands of kids designed, built, and tested their own high-flying paper “Bunny Copters” with us at our booth. Our volunteers and expert educators led the young scientists in studying what made their Bunny Copters fly. They asked questions like, “what happens if I add more helicopter blades?” or “what if we reverse the blades?” These “what if?” questions spark curiosity and inspire further investigation.

To make these bunny-themed flight explorations happen, The Lawrence staff were joined by volunteers from several of our partner organizations across the Bay Area and the District of Columbia. Representatives from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Association of Children’s Museums, American Alliance Of Museums, UC Office of Federal Governmental Relations, Association of Science and Technology Centers, Lewis-Burke Associates, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the UC Office of the President, all came out to ensure White House guests had a blast.

“We’re so grateful to everyone involved in our participation,” said Dione Rossiter, Executive Director of Science at Cal. “Thanks to the organizers for inviting us, our many volunteers who braved the rain, our staff who moved quickly to get everything we needed ready, and our sponsors who gave generously. It was such a fun experience for everyone!”

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