Endless forms most beautiful: Exploring evolution & celebrating Darwin day

From Feb. 10-12, the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium hosted their second weekend of 2017 titled “Endless Forms Most Beautiful: Exploring Evolution & Celebrating Darwin Day”.  The weekend was dedicated to the study of the formation of life on earth.  On Friday Feb. 10 there was a viewing of the short film “The Origin of Species” which told the stories of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.  On Saturday Feb. 11 there was a viewing of the full dome show “Natural Selection”.  On Sunday Feb. 12 there was a second showing of Natural Selection.

In addition to the shows, this Friends’ weekend also featured a lineup of speakers from the science community.  Friday’s and Saturday’s speakers visited the planetarium on behalf of the Michigan State University’s “Darwin Road Show”.  On Friday, students from George Washington University’s Department of Biological Sciences discussed their graduate research projects.   Tiffini Smith discussed her thesis project which focused on “Sexual Selection” and its role in evolution.  Chris Day discussed his project which looked at the abilities of Cancer cells to evolve and develop resistance to pharmaceuticals.  On Saturday, Alexis Garretson of George Mason University discussed her research on native wildlife and ecosystem interactions.  On Sunday, Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., a Professor at the University of Maryland and a Research Associate of the National Museum of Natural History discussed “The Evolution of Dinosaurs”.

The Friends will host special events at the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium one weekend every month until the end of the school year. Each weekend will be geared towards increasing STEM education/awareness for all ages and will feature a specific theme.  For more information, visit the Friends’ website: http://friendsoftheplanetarium.org.  The theme of March’s weekend will be: The Art of Science: The Creative Side of Our Natural World.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct Examiner.com, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.