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Science is everywhere” – boomed Yale Research Scientist Dave Hiller, as a record number of local middle and high school students jostled between table demos to complete a lively game of “Ask A Scientist Bingo!” And so began this year’s much anticipated Yale West Campus Pathways to Science Festival.

Over 140 sixth through twelfth graders from New Haven, West Haven, and Orange Public Schools – “the youngest members of Yale’s scientific community” – spent most of Saturday, October 14th exploring practically every corner of the university’s West Campus, from labs focused on health and energy science, to the School of Nursing, the West Campus Farm and even the kitchen.

Now in its fourth year, the first in-person “science fest” since 2019 was designed to provide local students with behind-the-scenes access to traditional research settings, but also with a clear message: science can happen anywhere, not just the lab.

How do the molecules in our food affect how they taste, and what happens when we cook them? How do healthcare professionals figure out what to do with a sick patient? How are we going to create and store green energy?

Touring hands-on demonstrations from one end of campus to the other, students donned their protective lab gear to examine these and numerous other questions