ATLANTA – Mercer University and Mercer Health Sciences Center are sponsors of the annual Atlanta Science Festival, which culminates in the Exploration Expo, held March 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in Piedmont Park.

The festival, launched in 2014, returns to its traditional, in-person format this year after being canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expo, free and open to the public, promotes science exploration, discovery and innovation with more than 100 interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, mind-blowing demonstrations and performances.

Mercer’s tent will be located in the expo’s Discover Zone. Faculty and students from the College of Nursing, College of Health Professions, College of Pharmacy, School of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will offer the following demonstrations throughout the day:


Robyn J. Lance, clinical instructor and coordinator of the Learning Resource Center, will demonstrate a variety of lung and heart sounds using “SAM” – the College of Nursing’s Simulated Auscultation Manikin. Additionally, participants will learn how to count their pulse, feel a carotid pulse and use a stethoscope.

‘Seeing’ Disease with Sound and Electricity

Dr. Jill Mattingly, clinical associate professor and chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the College of Health Professions, will show how sound, via a portable ultrasound device, “looks” into the body to see blood vessels, the heart, bones, muscles and tendons, as well as how electricity, via an ECG machine, “looks” into the body to see the electrical signals of the heart, which aids with medical decision-making.

Pharmacological Mixology

Dr. Jill Augustine, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences, and students in the College of Pharmacy will demonstrate how to make sunscreen with zinc oxide and hear from a pharmacist on why zinc oxide protects the skin and on other ways to stay sun-safe.

Robots in the Skies

Dr. Anthony Choi, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Mercer’s Machine Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory, will set up drone flight simulator stations where participants can learn how drones work and how to safely fly them.

Science Magic

Dr. Kevin Bucholtz, professor of chemistry and director of undergraduate research, will provide hands-on examples of a variety of scientific principles that provide interesting – and sometimes very surprising – observations.