2019 Philadelphia Science Festival

Staff and scientists from the AACR asked families, “How can you prevent cancer?” at the ninth annual Philadelphia Science Festival, a popular celebration of science and technology.

On Saturday, May 4, Philadelphians flooded the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Franklin Institute’s ninth annual Philadelphia Science Festival. For the fourth consecutive year, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was a sponsor of the community event, fulfilling the AACR’s mission by educating kids and their families about cancer research with hands-on experiments and activities.

The theme of the AACR booth, “How Can You Prevent Cancer?” explored small changes families can make to stay healthy. With an estimated 40 percent of all cancers being preventable with lifestyle changes, AACR scientists demonstrated how using sunscreen, maintaining an active lifestyle, and avoiding smoking can help reduce cancer risk.

To help visualize the importance of sun protection, festivalgoers smeared sunscreen on photoreactive paper and with the help of AACR scientists, used a UV flashlight to observe how sunscreen protected the covered areas from UV rays.

In addition to the sunscreen experiment, both children and adults readily participated in a jump rope challenge, encouraging them to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. Once they worked up a sweat, AACR scientists helped them peer through microscopes to view cells from healthy lungs compared with lungs with cancer.

Like previous years, hundreds of people stopped at the AACR booth during the day-long festival. Many added their thumbprints on AACR posters to represent leaves on a tree, one celebrating cancer survivors and another honoring the memory of those who have passed.

Not in Philadelphia but still want to join in the fight against cancer? You can get involved by running a few miles with our AACR Runners for Research team or taking part in one of our community education events.

As an authoritative source of information about advances in the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer, the AACR is the first and largest cancer research organization in the world dedicated to preventing and curing cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration. The AACR is proud to continue to educate the public about cancer research, including prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship.