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College of Health Sciences Gives K-12 Students Opportunity to Explore Exposure Science

Emily Zamzow, research assistant, in air quality lab

On Feb. 1, 2014, K-12 students were invited to Boise State University’s campus for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Exploration Day, which provided students and their families with hands-on learning experiences in the diverse fields of science. This year was the first year that the College of Health Sciences’ Exposure Science Lab participated in the event, which helped young students cultivate an interest in assessment of exposure to airborne chemical agents.

The Exposure Science Lab is run by Dale Stephenson, professor and chair of the Department of Community and Environmental Health, director of the Center for Excellence in Environmental Health and Safety and director of the Environmental and Occupational Health program, with assistance from Emily Zamzow, research assistant. The lab is dedicated to researching environment exposures to hazardous chemicals. The research currently being conducted includes assessing the potential for adverse exposures to diesel exhaust. Thus, during STEM Exploration day, visitors had the opportunity to participate in an air sampling demonstration that involved instrument calibration and the calculation of contaminant concentrations for comparison against exposure limits established by governmental agencies.

Given the positive feedback from participating students, it is evident that STEM Exploration day at Boise State was a huge success and is a great way to promote the discipline of exposure science to future scientists in Idaho.