Science Central was full to bursting Saturday as thousands of families descended upon the 24th annual Doctor's Day.
The event, sponsored by the Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance, Parkview Health, Lutheran Health Network and SYM Financial Advisors, seeks to teach kids about various medical fields through close to 40 exhibits.
“It's all related to getting kids kindergarten through fifth, sixth grade connected to thinking about medicine as a STEM field,” Maria Krach, co-chair of the event, said. “No matter what level of career they have in the medical field, science is going to be an important part of that.”
Krach said the event attracts an average of 1,800 to 2,400 people each year.
Enjoying free admission all day, guests visited a variety of exhibits to learn about germs, hearing, hygiene, dentistry and more. Every half-hour, visitors were treated to a different demonstration, including a cow eye dissection, Krach said.
Perhaps one of the most popular exhibits Saturday was a simple table featuring a preserved human brain, a real spinal cord and a genuine human skull. Visitors were able to strap on a pair of rubber gloves and touch and hold the organ.
“Everyone that is coming, they're very interested. I had one person tell me this is the most interesting exhibit,” said Chris Herrera, a first-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine in Fort Wayne. “(Doctor's Day) is a good way to share with the community what we've learned. It's a good way for us all to interact, instead of being cooped up in our little offices all day.”
Herrera, who was volunteering for Doctor's Day, said it's important to get out in the community and have fun.
“We're people too. Let's interact with the community and have fun,” Herrera said. “We're all part of the same society.”
Visitors came from all over to experience Science Central's free admission day. For Lima, Ohio, resident Clarence Ellis and his family, it was their first trip to Science Central. Ellis said his family heard about it through a friend at his wife's job.
“It's great that they have an event like this to allow the community to come out, get together, interact with each other and also get to learn,” Ellis said. “It's amazing, I appreciate it. Everybody's having a blast.”