Exhibits & Programs

Meet A Scientist (formerly known as Scientist Spotlight) on the first Saturday of every month.

Meet A Scientist (formerly known as Scientist Spotlight)

Discover how science works alongside the pros at Meet A Scientist. This program is free with admission and happens nearly every month (always on first Saturdays). Meet A Scientist features two rounds (11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2 p.m.-5 p.m.) of local scientists who share their work with you through hands-on activities and conversation. You might learn how scientists detect cancer-causing genes, how bugs fly, or how our brains remember what we’ve seen. Come back for new scientist guests each month.

This program exclusively features Pacific Science Center Science Communication Fellows. Fellows are local science-based professionals trained in communication and committed to sharing their love of science with you.

Entry to Meet A Scientist is included with the price of general admission – FREE for Pacific Science Center Members. Contact Marley Jarvis at mjarvis@pacsci.org or (206) 269-5768 for more information.

Here are some of the scientists you’ll meet September 5:

Vega Shah, University of Washington, Oceanography

Activity title and description: “Microscopic Drop of the Ocean.” Microbes are the invisible majority of the ocean. Each drop of seawater contains thousands, sometimes millions of phytoplankton and bacteria. This activity will allow visitors to explore the diversity and importance of microbes that occupy the vast ocean.

Why did you get into this field of science?

My family is originally from India. As a child we lived in a rural part of India where my dad taught at a medical college. I spent a lot of time outdoors and was always very interested in insects and flowers. I think that’s where it started.

Give us a science fact not very many people know about:

There are more bacteria in the ocean than stars in the universe.

Brian Connelly, University of Washington, Biology

Activity title and description: “Where is Evolution Going?” This exhibit explores if evolution has a master plan, or is it just winging it? What happens if the environment changes? See how to build different structures with Legos to see how evolution works.

Why did you get into this field of science?

I started out as a computer scientist interested in designing computer networks that could arrange themselves automatically to allow people and machines to share information easily. I met some engineers who used the process of evolution to develop new and unexpected solutions to problems (like building an antenna or parts of a car) and started trying to evolve computer networks. Pretty quickly, I became more interested in the evolutionary process itself and started working with biologists to study evolution using both computer simulations and bacteria.

Give us a science fact not very many people know about:

Bacteria aren’t just solitary, simple organisms. They have rich and complicated social lives.

Complete this sentience: Science is _____:

Science is like a good mystery. You never know what’s coming next.

Debbie Higginbotham, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Activity title and description: “Volumes of Knowledge.” Have you ever wondered how scientists study things they can’t see? What kind of tools they use and how they work? Come play with some of these tools and have some fun!

Who is your favorite scientist and why. Has anyone else influenced you to this career?

Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb has been a big influence. She is a constant inspiration to keep trying, keep thinking and keep achieving.

Give us a science fact not very many people know about:

E-Coli is used in science as a way to isolate and make multiple copies of specific pieces of the genome.

Other Scientists & Activity Descriptions

Dr. Angela Katsuyama, University of Washington, Biology

Activity and description: “How Does Sleep Affect Your Health?” Explore how different types of sleep can impact your overall health.

Ivonne Ortiz, University of Washington, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Activity and description: “Who Eats Who in the Bering Sea?” Food webs are made up of so many different creatures, but how can you know which ones are the most important? How do changes in the ocean change the food web?

Michelle Hays, University of Washington, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Activity and description: “Gene Wars.” Have you ever thought about where the new genes in your genetic code come from? What happens when they duplicate and how do they evolve? Come learn about something called genetic conflict in “gene wars.”