Apr 13, 2016


Free Event to Inspire Kids to Explore STEM Careers, Including Lab Industry

COLA, a national laboratory accreditor and an advocate for quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, will participate in the 4th Annual  USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo and Book Fair, April 16-17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C.

Designed to inspire the next generation of inventors and innovators, the Festival is a free, family-friendly expo that allows kids and adults to participate in more than 3,000 hands-on exhibits, experiments, and live performances by science celebrities, explorers, astronauts, athletes, physicists, musicians, authors, inventors, and experts in fields like cryogenics, robotics, genomics, paleontology, space exploration, 3D printing and more.

COLA’s hands-on activities at the Festival will expose students to the world of laboratory science by letting them take part in exciting lab demonstrations. At COLA’s exhibit (Booth #613, Health & Medicine Pavilion, Hall A) COLA staff will host a simulated blood banking activity where student participants will be challenged to test blood samples to find the right match to save the life of a critically ill “patient.”  COLA also will distribute information for teachers, students and parents about medical lab technology careers, required job skills, general lab duties, as well as the benefits of working in a clinical laboratory.

COLA’s participation in the event coincides with Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW), April 24-30, which celebrates the role laboratorians play in patient care.  MLPW provides a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel, a career that is often unnoticed by the public yet critical to successful diagnosis and treatment of patients.

“COLA is excited to be part of this Expo, which will give kids the chance to see the contributions that laboratory professionals make every day to the delivery of safe, effective health care,” said COLA CEO Douglas Beigel.  “With a projected increase in the number of current laboratory job vacancies in the U.S. due to retirements, and many clinical laboratories across the nation reporting difficulties in recruiting new staff, this Expo is a great way to motivate kids to explore clinical laboratory science careers.”


About COLA

COLA accredits nearly 8,000 medical laboratories and provides the clinical laboratory with a program of education, consultation, and accreditation. The organization is an independent, non-profit accreditor whose education program and standards enable clinical laboratories and staff to meet U.S. CLIA and other regulatory requirements.  COLA is recognized by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services as a deemed accrediting organization.  COLA’s program is endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), and is also recognized by The Joint Commission.  For more information about COLA accreditation services and educational products, and online educational opportunities, please call 800-981-9883 or visit COLA’s web site at


About the USA Science & Engineering Festival

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the only national science festival. It was developed to increase public awareness about the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering by celebrating science in much the same way as society celebrates Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and pop stars. Lockheed Martin is the founding and presenting host of the festival, with important support from Chevron. Visit, connect on Facebook, and follow on Twitter @USAScienceFest.

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