NIH Pavilion Scientific Themes

Select a title to view activities for each theme.

Infectious Diseases

Tackle the world of microorganisms and learn about the harm – and good – done by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and/or viruses.


Bacteria Brushing Biosensors (NIDCR)

We can't see them, but bacteria are all around us, on us, and in us, including in our mouths. Scientists can use special tools called biosensors to detect them. Biosensors can also be used for evaluating oral and overall health. Booth visitors will participate in an interactive, hands-on experiment to measure bacterial contamination on model teeth using a biosensor. Overall, attendees will learn how prevalent bacteria are in our world and how removing bacteria from teeth with regular tooth brushing can keep our mouths healthy.

Flu Viral Assembly Games (NIAID)

  1. Cold vs. Flu Symptom Board
    Do you know the difference between cold and flu symptoms? Check your knowledge with our symptom board. Match each symptom to the cold or flu column and see how many you can get right!
  2. Matching Game
    Test your flu and immune system knowledge with our matching card game!
  3. Puzzles
    Enjoy the challenge of assembling our flu related puzzles, varying in difficulty level and cool imagery.
  4. Self-Assembling Viral Shakers
    Have you ever wondered how viruses assemble? Come shake our self-assembling viral shakers to see how the viruses assemble and how your immune system uses the fever response to fight back!
  5. True/ False Bean Bag Toss
    How much do you know about the flu? Volunteers will ask participants to answer true/false questions about flu and throw a bean bag into the true or false box. There are 3 categories to work through (beginner, intermediate, advanced).    

Ooey, Gooey, Gross: Acne, Organs and Immunity (SEPA)

Sometimes life is gross, but being gross can also be fun. Pop over to see how your body's immune system deals with pimples. Challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score on our virtual acne fighting video game. Get hands-on and squish some organs while you learn about different organs and their jobs inside the body. Take a peek at how the body's immune system can affect organ translplants by creating and exploring your very own story.

The Germ Stops Here (ORS)

To prevent Mr. and Mrs. Germ from within a lab escape to outside of the lab our engineers designed a mock up lab demonstrating directional airflow. You are welcome to enter the lab to experience directional airflow yourself, just like how NIH researchers experience labs that research anthrax, tuberculosis and other nasty viruses. Once inside the lab, you will look into a microscope and identify the germ. But before you can enter our lab, you will be required to put on the proper personal protective equipment needed so that you can be protected, just like our NIH researchers.

Zombie Apocalypse and Global Health Quiz (FIC)

In this game, Zombie Fever—a new infectious disease—is taking over the planet! Learn how Zombie Fever spreads through a population…you may get infected and become a zombie yourself! Come find out who gets infected, what you can do to prevent getting infected, and what happens after you get infected. Visit our booth to play a global health quiz game and learn more about how the Fogarty International Center at NIH helps fight diseases and improve health in countries all around the globe and how global health research helps improve our health in the U.S. as well.