Mercer University to Have Interactive Exhibits at 2023 Atlanta Science Festival Exploration Expo

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Mercer University and Mercer Health Sciences Center are sponsors of the annual Atlanta Science Festival, which culminates in the Exploration Expo, to be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 25 at Piedmont Park. 

The festival, launched in 2014, is a two-week celebration of science and technology. Taking place March 10-25, it features 150 interactive and educational events. The expo, a giant science bash that is free and open to the public, promotes science exploration, discovery and innovation through hands-on interactive booths, live demonstrations and shows. 

At the expo, Mercer will offer demonstrations from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, College of Pharmacy and School of Engineering around the theme “How Does Science Impact Your Life?” 


Dr. Sonique Sailsman, assistant professor of nursing, will demonstrate a variety of lung and heart sounds using “SAM” — the College of Nursing’s Simulated Auscultation Manikin. SAM is an innovative teaching tool to assist in learning about normal and abnormal sounds such as wheezing and heart murmurs. In addition, visitors will learn how to count their pulse, feel a carotid pulse and use a stethoscope. This demonstration is scheduled for 10-11:10 a.m. 

How Does Your Brain Work? 

Dr. Katharine Northcutt, associate professor of biology, will show how the brain works by making models of brain cells and learning how they communicate with one another. Visitors can look at and touch real sheep brains to see how millions of these cells are grouped together to make a brain. The demonstration also will explore how the brain allows us to taste different foods and how the brain can be tricked into tasting flavors that aren’t there. This demonstration is scheduled for 11:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m. 

Healthy Hand Hygiene: Stop Germs, Go Clean 

Dr. Cheryl Gaddis, associate professor of practice and chair of the Department of Public Health, will show what germs look like using ultraviolet light, demonstrate proper hand-washing procedures, and teach an interactive song that can be used to promote hand-washing for an appropriate length of time. This demonstration is scheduled for 12:20-1:30 p.m.  

Compounding Mixology 

Dr. Mohammad Uddin, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, will demonstrate how to make sunscreen with zinc oxide. He will explain why zinc oxide protects the skin and discuss other ways to stay safe in the sun. This demonstration is scheduled for 1:30-2:40 p.m.  

Robots in the Skies 

 Dr. Anthony Choi, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Mercer’s Machine Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory, will set up drone flight simulator stations where participants can learn how drones work and how to safely fly them. This demonstration is scheduled for 2:40-3:50 p.m.