Attendee Stories

Playtime Takes a Trip to the Science Festival

Written by the Homeless Children’s Center Playtime Project 

For most children, a day off school is exciting. It means games, outings, freedom to explore and play. But for the young people living at the DC General family shelter, staying home means something very different. Restricted to their family’s small room and unable to have friends over, being at school sounds a lot more fun than staying at the shelter.

So when we found out that DC Public Schools wouldn’t have classes on an upcoming Friday, we knew that it would be especially meaningful to transform the day into an adventure of fun and exploration. We found out that the USA Science and Engineering Festival was happening here in DC, and we made sure that Playtimers from DC General and DASH were there!

To get our day started right, we rented an amazing bus to transport us to and from the event. The children loved the spacious vehicle with big seats and built-in tables. We were in the festival spirit before we even arrived!

The science and engineering festival was huge! There was so much to see and do. We fanned out and visited as many booths as we could. Some of us got to learn about how water flows through our region – and how pollution does, too. We got to try out all kinds of cool toys made with a 3D printer. And there were LEGO blocks that we could climb on!

NASA was there at the festival, and they encouraged us to keep exploring, learn science and technology, and reach for the stars.

It was so cool to meet Black Girls Who Code. We learned how to make a circuit and how binary code works. The young women were encouraged to think about what careers are possible for them in computer technology and robotics.

We’re so grateful to have had this chance to visit the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Let’s go back next year!

Thank you to the Homeless Children’s Center Playtime Project!