Welcome to Athena Diagnostics!

I took my Cub Scouts on a tour of Athena Diagnostics yesterday. I had been jumping through hoops for almost two months to get the tour approved, but I think it paid off. In addition to filling the final requirement for the Science belt loop, the tour was fun for me to conduct. I was really excited, and the boys were interested in some portions of the tour.

We started in the accessioning department, where patient
samples are stripped of the patients' names and assigned
numbers for the sake of privacy.
The boys even got to see real blood!

Then we visited the extraction bay, where the DNA is
harvested from the red blood cells in the patients'
blood. It is a largely automated process, with much
of the work done by a very large robot that shakes,
incubates, and spins the blood samples.

The robots at different stations in the lab seemed to be a
hit with the boys. They are great machines that save
us time and money by doing repetitive batch
processes that would take a technician hours to do.

Adam Herrera attended with his son, Joshua, who is a Webelo.

Jennie Green was there with her son, also a Joshua,
the Wolf on the left. Joshua Green told me that his
favorite part of the tour was the cookies,
but I think he was just being [gasp] obnoxious.

I hope that the tour sparked some interest in the boys. It was when I was about their age that I (along with countless other children) realized that I was going to be a scientist. For me the interest was nuclear physics at first. High school biology changed my mind, and here I am today a scientist!

If any of you are ever in the area, please stop by, and I'll give you a tour, too.


Vicki said...

Who took the photos?

Mark and Kiss said...

That is awesome! What a neat experience for the boys.