Partner Highlights

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology Within the Teen Science Café Network - Exploring the Cool and the Scary

Kathryn Riddle Penzkover and Michelle K. Hall
Teen Science Cafe Network

The teen years are a time of exploring new frontiers and making important decisions that will change lives in ways that cannot be known. The same can be said for the field of synthetic biology - it is a time of great exploration and possibilities, myriad choices, and cautious trepidation of the unknown. During the 2016 Teen Science Café Network annual workshop held August 21-24 at the Explora! Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 41 adult mentors of teen science café programs participated in a science café to introduce them to the field of synthetic biology and provide them with rich resources, such as the Building with Biology kit, that can be used in a science café explicitly for teens. 

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at Port Discovery Children's Museum: Purposeful Play and Learning through Meaningful Science Experiences

Sarah Zimmerman, Port Discovery Children's Museum
Port Discovery Children's Museum

On July 30th, 2016 scientists, students, and families came together at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to explore and discover the emerging field of synthetic biology. The museum’s Building with Biology event was a great success, attracting over 1,300 guests. Children visiting the museum range from birth to 10 years old, making it a unique opportunity to introduce young future scientists to the excitement of the field. 

Partner Highlight: Children’s Museum of Eau Claire's "Science Troupe" Visits SMM!

Christina Leavell

At the end of summer 2016, our friends at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire dropped by the Science Museum of Minnesota for a behind-the-scenes look around the museum. With them they brought the “Eau Claire Science Troupe” summer camp participants – an elite group of middle school students who had been working hard that past week with materials from the NISE Network's “Explore Science: Zoom into Nano” kit.

Partner Highlight: NanoGagliato, Italy: Where Science Meets the Public

Paola Ferrari, NanoGagliato
NanoGagliato

Inspired by the senior scientists’ gatherings in Gagliato, NanoPiccola, the junior extension of the Accademia of Gagliato, launched NanoPiccola days offering children in the local community an opportunity to learn about nanotechnology and its applications. NanoPiccola days is a program that includes hands-on activities and games, presentations, scientist trading cards, and Q&A sessions with scientists and the public. In 2010, the Houston Methodist Research Institute became a partner of the NISE Network, and NanoPiccola an international collaborating partner. Upon joining the Network, the Accademia was able to improve upon their own line of activities and experiments, and a Network from which to draw further inspiration and support!

Partner Highlight: Connecticut Educators Learn to “Build with Biology” with Southern Connecticut State University Faculty & 2016 iGEM Team

Bryn Pinkerton, Office of STEM Innovation & Leadership, Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University Building with Biology workshop

On August 2nd, 2016, middle & high school Connecticut educators participated in a Building with Biology professional development workshop with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) faculty. The workshop was a collaborative event coordinated by CRISP and the Office of STEM Innovation & Leadership. Educators discussed the social and ethical implications of synthetic biology with the first ever SCSU iGEM team through the forum “Should We Edit the Genome? When, Why, and How Much?”. 

Partner Highlight: Engineering Inside and Out at Science Central in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Jenny Young, Science Central
Science Central

Science Central paired one of our annual engineering events with Building with Biology.  Every July during Fort Wayne Indiana’s Three River Festival, we partner with a local architecture firm for an engineering egg drop competition from the top of our roof.  We premiered the Building with Biology activities with this event to highlight that engineering happens on the micro scale as well. 

Partner Highlight: "Miners Dig Deep" and Show Summer Campers How to Build with Biology

Dave Westenberg, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri University of Science & Technology

The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) campus comes alive every summer with the excitement of young people learning about science and engineering. Among the many summer camps is the annual Summer Solutions For Girls program. Summer Solutions For Girls is a week-long residential program for rising 9th and 10th grade girls. The goal of this program is to introduce young girls to the excitement of STEM careers and includes tours, field trips, lectures, social activities and hands-on activities. As a recent recipient of one of 200 Building with Biology physical kits, Dr. Dave Westenberg, co-advisor of the Missouri S&T iGEM team had a chance to try out some of the activities with Summer Solutions For Girls campers. The result was a huge success.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Jayatri Das, The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute

What would Benjamin Franklin think about synthetic biology? On July 9th, we held our Building with Biology event under the watchful eyes of his colossal statue in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at The Franklin Institute. I’d like to think that our favorite scientist and inventor would have loved the thoughtful conversations that took place throughout the day as visitors and scientist volunteers considered the applications of this emerging science. With synthetic biology as a new area of focus for us, we were able to establish a new partnership with local biotech company BioBots as well as leverage existing relationships with the University of Pennsylvania, the Wistar Institute, and Dow Chemical to branch out to a new group of people.

Partner Highlight: Museum & Community Partnership-Zoom Into Science at the Library

Sarah Fisk, SUNY Poly CMOST
SUNY Poly CMOST

The SUNY Poly Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (SUNY Poly CMOST) and the Albany Public Library have frequently worked together on a variety of STE(a)M based projects, recognizing one another as strong community organizations. When the opportunity was announced to apply for an Explore Science – Zoom into Nano kit that focused on museum and community partnerships, it was an obvious fit for The Museum to pursue Albany Public library as a partner in this endeavor.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at the Museum of Science in Boston

Caroline Lowenthal, Museum of Science
Museum of Science Building with Biology event 2016

The Museum of Science in Boston hosted its Building with Biology event on Sunday, June 26. It was open to all museum visitors, and included the hands-on activities from the kit, a few hands-on activities from the pilot year, a graffiti board, passports and tattoos, guest speakers, iGEM team presenters, and a table for a local synthetic biology company. That evening, we held the “Should We Engineer the Mosquito?” forum.