Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
Wetlab Staff Joins in on Joust For Fun

Wetlab’s Phaedra Harmening and Gerry Miller recently spoke at a Cub Scout’s Overland District’s Club Scout Day Camp on Saturday, June 14 in Elko County.

Over 150 Cub Scouts visited Wetlab’s Botany Bay, one of nine stations that included archery, armor making, dragon training, knights in space and tournament sparring. At the Botany Bay station, Harmening and Miller gave each scout a pencil and notepad for notes, and worked with the Scouts on ecological concepts.

One question they posed was, “if Elko County’s population is 50,000, with four zeros, how many zeros are in the current world population of seven billion?”

Harmening and Miller likened the Scouts and their parents to members of a species they called “Overland District Scouts,” who, at the end of the day, would all go back to their individual ecosystem niches, using the analogy to explain the introduction of algae, bacteria, dragons and works into ecosystems.

The two Wetlab volunteers discussed the water cycle, how nature abhors a vacuum, and the place of the top three cereal crops – rice, wheat and corn – as they are used to feed the world.

At the end of the day, when the Scout camp came to an end, the Future Knights of the Round Table gave the loudest round of applause to the scientists from Wetlab.

We want to encourage kids to explore and discover using science and experimentation. That’s why for the past two years our WETLAB team in Elko, headed by Andrew Porter, has volunteered to run a science-oriented station for Eastern Nevada Cub Scout troops at Spring Creek High School.

Andrew grew up as a curious Cub Scout and is still involved with the Boy Scouts as the highest ranking Eagle Scout. In addition, several of the Elko employees have little ones in the Scout programs.

This year, he participated in the annual Boy Scouts day camp. With over 100 scouts from around Eastern Nevada, Andrew conducted fingerprinting with the kids for the CSI-themed day. It was a rewarding experience, allowing Andy and WETLAB to not only volunteer with the scouts, but pass on a love of science and get kids excited about it.