How do you combine chemicals to make “goop” and why can sand be found in so many different colors? These are the questions Juliana ponders while conducting experiments in her house. But today, she's a bona-fide scientist with the right equipment and mentoring.
When Juliana was diagnosed with leukemia, Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida knew she needed a teaspoon of joy and tablespoon of hope to help her fight her life-threatening medical condition.
This wish kid’s eyes light up when she receives a pair of lab goggles and a lab coat with her name embroidered on it. She is a bona-fide scientist during her wish party at the South Florida Science Museum. Here she learns she will travel to Boston to take her place as VIP at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium, among other places.
Juliana fits right in at MIT when she meets professors Heidi Nepf and Philip Gschwend. Professor Nepf grabs beakers, drops of colored dye and floating beads to teach Juliana about patterns of water and sand movements in rivers. Professor Gschwend then demonstrates how to make “goop” from glue and other household items. All the while Juliana listens intently so she can duplicate the experiment at home.
With some new knowledge, Juliana enters an atom smasher – a 25-foot-tall cone where scientists simulate lightning strikes. She sits gleefully as a bucket of dry ice vapor cascade over her head. Then she continues to strike her budding curiosity by studying the creation of a chemical reaction, making “flubber” and even gazing at the effects of acid rain through a microscope.
But Juliana doesn’t stop there. She enjoys a dinosaur exhibit tour and hands-on experiences with all kinds of marine life at the New England Aquarium. She even gets to pet an octopus named George.
She rides on a “duck” – a renovated World War II amphibious vehicle. Then she takes a bit of relaxing time to sit and watch the “Sea Monsters 3D” IMAX movie with her family.
And of course, everywhere she goes she receives gifts: educational games and scientific kits to take home.
Juliana’s wish experience not only gives her and her family an amazing memory, it also gives her tools to stay optimistic about her future.