Science Exploration Day Committee Recognizes Supporters of Youth, Science and Learning

By Phillip Collins

Release Date: September 28, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Bob McClellan, best known for his demonstration of cryogenics and their shattering effect on carnations, received the Distinguished Service Award as educators and volunteers were honored for their support of the University at Buffalo's Science Exploration Day on Sept. 20 at Daemen College's Wick Student Center.

McClellan began his participation with Science Exploration Day in 1989, and has presented "The Cold, Cold World of Cryogenics" 16 times.

The event "recognized 10 presenters who have been at 10 or more years of Science Exploration Day," said Rodney Doran, a current board member and active organizer for the past 25 years.

Each year, about 500 promising local high school students tour UB research laboratories as part of Science Exploration Day, tours that have become a favorite part of the experience and give the students an up-close look at the state-of-the-art equipment used in research.

Some of Buffalo's top science minds and educators have spent a quarter century bringing local students into the science community. These experts develop hands-on, weird and exciting science events to encourage students' curiosity in science and technology.

The March 2011 Science Exploration Day featured Kristen Stanford, a researcher and advocate for the Lake Erie water snake. Stanford gained notoriety on Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" and brought part of that "dirty job" to the event, displaying live water snakes for the students. The event also included "Combustion Engineering, or How to be a Pyromaniac … and Get Paid for It," which demonstrated the different dimensions of fire engineering.

"There were a lot of big flames," said Doran, who noted it was one of the edgier of the Science Exploration Day presentations.

"Students have an opportunity to meet experts in science, technology, education and mathematics-related fields; professionals who have generously provided support for the event," says Jeff Arnold, director of Science Exploration Day. "The [celebration] event honors past presenters, board members and other key people who make the event possible."