On Saturday, April 30, ESSIC faculty and staff gathered to celebrate Maryland Day, the University of Maryland’s largest community outreach event! This was the first time the event could be held in-person since 2019. According to campus metrics, Maryland Day attracted 65,000 visitors to the College Park campus.
At the event, ESSIC gave away booklets, stickers, pamphlets, bookmarks, and keychains that celebrate the science that goes on at the Center. Some of these materials were generously donated by the Center’s federal partners at NASA and NOAA.
In addition to the giveaways, scientists Julie Nicely and William Lau had booths where they presented some of their work. Pictured below is Nicely speaking about the ozone hole and Lau giving out autographed copies of Monsoon. Monsoon is a NASA-produced manga features an elementary school girl and her robotic dog who are educated about monsoons by a cartoonized Dr. Lau.
The ESSIC/CISESS Lightning Group, which includes Guangyang Fang, Joseph Patton, Terrence Pierce, and Daile Zhang, also came out to talk about their science. The group exhibited and demonstrated the NOAA satellite data virtual reality (VR) program, which was developed by the research team led by NOAA scientist Scott Rudlosky. This VR program is an interactive and immersive “fly-through” of real weather data that allows users to visualize events like Hurricane Dorian and an atmospheric river in a 3-D environment. The group also promoted lightning safety to the community. They distributed stickers and temporary tattoos with lightning safety slogans as well as answered questions about lightning safety that the community had. The event was extremely popular!
For children, ESSIC brought back its historic “rain gauge game”, in which participants race to see how much water they can squeeze from a “cloud” (a sponge) into the rain gauge during an allotted time. All participants earned themselves stickers and other prizes!
Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to make this return to Maryland Day special!