Hundreds of high school students were welcomed to the University at Buffalo's North Campus Wednesday morning for its Science Exploration Day.
Students from 47 high schools, public and private, had the opportunity to watch demonstrations, tour facilities and be inspired by various areas of science.
"We have all kinds of lab tours, small group sessions, as well as a keynote presentation on cryogenics," said Dr. Rodney Doran, with UB's Graduate School of Education.
The cryogenics demonstration shows students the effects of extreme cold temperatures on everyday objects. The exhibit is best known for freezing a banana.
"That's right. And they also shrink balloons and (freeze) rose flowers as well," Doran said.
That was just one of numerous demonstrations in a wide variety of scientific topics. Students also got to interact with a portable planetarium, visit UB's earthquake simulator and see dissected sea animals up close.
Some students donned rubber gloves and dared to touch the dissected specimens. Charlotte Foxe, a junior at Cheektowaga High School, said the chance to get up close was a valuable educational opportunity that she wouldn't necessarily get in most classroom settings.
"Hands-on experience is always a big thing for me," Foxe said. "It's the way I learn. It's how I observe better. It's such a cool experience. It's not something you get to do in science class or biology class any more."
Foxe revealed she is interested in pursuing studies both in medicine and communications, perhaps combining them into medical journalism. It's just one of many directions, UB faculty say, where science may open doors to careers.
"Health care, for sure," said Dr. Doran, when asked what careers might provide the hottest prospects for these students.