"The question was, 'What's the largest single-celled organism in the world?'" said Cease, a doctoral student at Arizona State University. Cease studies the migration patterns of landscape-damaging locusts in Inner Mongolia.
With Cease's help, the student logged on to the "Ask a Biologist" website to submit the question. Cease says the site connects the public with over one hundred biologists who volunteer their time to the Q&A service.
"It's been great meeting all the people," Cease says. "The kids have really interesting questions!"
One session discussed the science behind "NUMB3RS"  -- the CBS television show about a mathematician solving crime. Some fifty kids and adults in attendance applauded as Caltech statistics professor Gary Lorden  spoke. Lorden is a scientific consultant for the show.
At the food tables, Charlie Orlando and his four young charges quickly gobbled their brown-bag lunches before kicking off the afternoon.
"Come on guys, grab a chair! No, that bagel's yours."
Orlando home-schools his children and says his wife found out about the AAAS public event through email. "I'm really excited to see all the rest," said Orlando, who tells me that there is a strong network of parents who pass science events news to each other.
Here are some more photos from the Exhibition Hall: