science outreach

I don't know if any DIY biologists are looking for projects, but I think engineering yeast with a gene to detect heavy metals might be a good DIY biology project and I have some ideas for how to do this. What are the advantages of using yeast and working on this kind of problem?
  • This could have a socially beneficial result. Contamination of soils, water, and even toys with heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others, is a
  • ... Read more
My oldest daughter's favorite sweatshirt is one from the Seattle Children's Theatre Drama School, with the motto, "What's your motivation?" I was reminded of motivation the other day, as I talked about projects with the DIY biology group. It's pretty clear that you can't pick a project without knowing whether you're motivated by the discovery or the application. Many of the people I've known in academia, either researchers or science educators, are motivated by the prospect of discovery. They either want to discover something new or help their students make ... Read more
This afternoon, I attended the first meeting of a DIY biology group in Seattle, after a kind invitation from one of the founders.
 
DIY, for those of you new to the acronym, stands for "Do It Yourself."
 
But, you say, there are lots of people who do biology on their own. Some people keep pets. Some have children. Others raise tropical fish, go bird watching, or mushroom hunting. Some people even make yogurt or cheese, or brew beer, or make wine. ... Read more
Before mammals, before dinosaurs, before bacteria, or plants, there was something else; a protocell containing RNA. i-4c756422efd338ecba1f0d41066e8ec1-ribozyme.gif The Exploring Origins Project has excellent animations of protocells, a timeline of life's evolution, and best of all- fantastic animations of ... Read more
Over the years, I've seen many biotechnology education programs at community colleges embrace outreach to high schools as part of their mission. This kind of enthusiasm for outreach seems unique to biotech. No other kind of science or engineering program seems to do this sort of thing, at least not on the nationwide basis that I've seen demonstrated in biotechnology. And yet, even though I've always admired and often participated in these efforts, some aspects are a little puzzling. How do the colleges reconcile the energy spent in outreach efforts with the energy spent ... Read more
Long Branch, NJ, is a lovely town on the Atlantic Ocean, with long beaches and brand new shops and condos. It is also part of an area in, central New Jersey, where biotechnology education is entering an exciting time thanks to efforts of NJBEC, Bio-1, and a WIRED grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. NJBEC, Bio-1, WIRED? What do all these acronyms mean? I get these things confused all the time, so I'll take a quick moment and explain. NJBEC is the New Jersey Biotechnology Educators Consortium. Bio-1 is a partnership between five counties and several schools in ... Read more
ScienceBlogs and science bloggers, in general, have enthusiastically supported fund-raising efforts by DonorsChoose for the past two years, and we're doing it once again for 2008. DonorsChoose works like this: teachers write descriptions of what they want and how they'll use it for teaching, and submit their proposals to DonorsChoose. We pick the projects we like and if you like them, too, you can help get these projects funded.
Donate to schools! Win a prize!
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The National Girls Collaborative Project, as you might guess from the title, focuses on helping girls and engaging girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (aka "STEM"). i-b03850690dea3c33d059de360d9523b7-110.jpg

photos used with permission from NGCP

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What do you do if you're a scientist and want to volunteer in a classroom? How do you find the right place to go and right kind of activity that suites your talents? One of my commenters asked about this a few weeks ago. With the new school year up and running, it seems like a good time to tackle this question. What kinds of volunteer activities do scientists do? Your effort can be big or small. Small efforts can involve speaking in a classroom, mentoring students via ea-mail, judging science fair projects, or assisting with homework questions. Larger efforts can ... Read more

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