Teaching Students About Radiology at the Bay Area Science Festival

You might have recently seen the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the Bay Area Science Festival (BASF) at AT&T Park in San Francisco. As we concluded another great BASF chapter, we were filled with enthusiasm and excitement to, once again, connect with the Bay Area community through the wonders of science. Radiology’s Science Fair Committee and its team is dedicated to “unleashing our inner scientists” and we relish the annual opportunity to support BASF, interact with our community, and provide opportunities for children of all ages to discover their niche in the world of science.

This year, our booth focused on the emphasis of logistical and powerful tools radiologists use to create images. In doing so, we demonstrated a number of different concepts essential to imaging at UCSF. Students were filled with excitement, and even the parents wanted to join the action. First, we used magnets and magnetic sand to create a dialogue of how MRI has optimized imaging and how, through powerful magnets, we can generate unique radiographic images. Our next activity allowed us to use near-infrared technology to produce illuminated vein images of the science festival participants. The vein illuminator tool is one of the many tools we use in various radiology specialties to successfully venipuncture patients during procedures.

Last, SonoSite kindly donated a portable ultrasound scanner, which was one of our most popular activities. Radiologists  John Mongan, MD, PhD and Matthew Bucknor, MD, performed scans of the hand and wrist muscles. Ultrasound and Breast Imaging Fellow Sujay Sheth, MD, and Diagnostic Radiology Chief Resident, Luis Gutierrez, MD, helped out with ultrasound scans.

"Our department’s stand at the Bay Area Science Festival was a fantastic experience. For almost all of the kids who came through the ultrasound module, this was an exciting first opportunity for them to look inside of their own bodies,” explained Dr. Bucknor, assistant professor in musculoskeletal imaging. “You could really see the sparks going off in their minds about biology, physics, imaging, and the potential of science. We had a constant long line and I was a little hoarse at the end of the day, but was grateful for the opportunity to connect.”

Our department is fortunate to have faculty, fellows, residents, MSBI students, technologists, and staff who dedicate their time to represent UCSF Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. The department is grateful to have your support and we appreciate all your hard work.  

Thank you for your participation: Matthew Bucknor, MD; John Mongan, MD, PhD; Sri Nagarajan, PhD; Sujay Sheth, MD; Luis Gutierrez, MD; and to Craig Devincent, RT; Nicole Bronson, RT; Rebecca Galagaran, RT; Janet Mar, RT; Vivek Swarnakar, Cindy Flores Gaytan, Aeshah Al-Nagdawi, Kristine Chooey, Melinda Parangan-Chu, Laurel Skurko, Sandria Wong, Katie Murphy, Maria Pamatmat, Elizabeth Ruiz, James Zhang, Joy Yeh, Mehryar Garakani, Vanitha Sankaranarayanan, and Ana Marie Deluca!


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