Cell Motion BioBus

Rating: 4.89 stars   19 reviews

Issues:

Location: PO Box 250288 Columbia University Station New York NY 10025 USA

Mission: BioBus inspires the next generation of scientists by offering hands-on learning opportunities for young people. We operate state-of-the-art educational facilities where students and their teachers engage in authentic scientific inquiry alongside professional scientists.
Results: Over 15,000 students in over 90 schools and communities have explored the microscopical world aboard the BioBus since 2008. Student attitudes towards biology is more positive following a BioBus visit (2.83 +/- 1.05 before vs.  4.56 +/- 0.7 after, maximum score = 5, n=174).
Target demographics: Low-income K-12 students in the New York and across the country.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000
Geographic areas served: United States
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN
917-569-8926
http://www.biobus.org
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

It was incredibly well organized, very friendly staff, and perfectly suited to kids. It was the highlight of the fair for my kids!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

I helped out at the Bio Bus during the visit to the HOWL festival. I don't have a science background but prior to the event I was told that we would be looking at Daphnia. Having the opportunity to prepare in advance made me comfortable with the subject and sharing my knowledge with the visitors.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It was a lot of fun greeting people and sharing with them interesting aspects of the bus. It was exciting to see enthusiasm from both children and adults.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I've enjoyed the most learning about what the Bio Bus does and sharing it with others. And of course, seeing kids interested in science!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly and welcoming! Everyone is excited about the cause.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The BioBus is an amazing organization trying to improve science education and inspire young students to see the process that is scientific discovery. While we are still getting some things off the ground, the progress made by the scientists and teachers who realize the importance of this mission has been outstanding.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

making me a better teacher.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

The BioBus is an exciting mobile science classroom that brings a state-of-the art microscope lab to schools all over NYC. It gives students an explorative, "hands-on" experience and sparks their interest in science. Moreover, the students interact with real-life scientists, who volunteer their time to teach as well as serve as role models.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the excitement in kids when they get to start a science experiment. They get to question what is in pond water, go out and obtain samples, and then bring it back to the lab and analyze and document their findings with microscopes and cameras.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I had a great experience upon boarding the BioBus. Every aspect was explained to me with great detail. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it immensely.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Upon boarding the bus while working at the vibes.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I love the idea of a traveling science classroom roving the cities, towns and byways. It is a great way to bring a passion for science to children and adults.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

promoting science in unexpected settings.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I first heard about the BioBus about a year and a half ago at a meeting of the Future Science Educators group in NYC. I began volunteering soon after and have seen the program develop first-hand. The BioBus is a mobile lab on wheels - bringing research grade microscopes and computers to students who otherwise wouldn't have access to such equipment. We started off small, but are working to develop our curriculum and better connect our lessons with the state standards and what students are learning in the classroom. We are formalizing lesson plans and preparing activities for teachers to do in the classroom before and after our visit - this helps the students get the most out of our visit as possible. I love science, and even more, I love teaching science. Kids ask fabulous questions. It's also important to show them that science is done by people - people just like them. The BioBus gives them first-hand experience doing experiments and the chance to interact directly with "real scientists."

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've worked on the BioBus under several different circumstances. We've done formal lessons at schools, covering all grades from K-12. We've also been at street fairs and other festivals, allowing the general public to look at their cheek cells.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand it. With one bus and 3 microscopes, the BioBus has already managed to reach literally thousands of students. With two or three buses, many more students could experience science first-hand. We also need to make sure teachers know about the bus.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching students' excitement as they see their own cells under the microscope.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Ben is the director, and until recently he was the only full-time employee. The rest of us were volunteers. Recently he was able to hire two full-time employees who are fantastic. There's also an army of volunteers, grad students, postdocs, teachers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build more buses with different types of equipment. Perhaps a BioBus, a ChemBus, and a PhysicsBus.

Ways to make it better...

the lesson plans were more formalized so that teachers would know exactly what to do. We're currently working on that, and are continually working with teachers to improve our curriculum.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting the word out that we're here and convincing schools that the experience we give students is important and valuable.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Ben is SO passionate about improving science education - it's impossible not to get caught up in his enthusiasm!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I first was introduced to the BioBus in 6th grade at my middle school in Monroe CT. This one day sparked an interest that has been with me ever since, sustainability. Designing a product of any sort; including cars, houses, or even clothing; that lowers its carbon footprint on the earth and therefore creates a better, greener product and overall condition of living has been my focus of studies ever since. This past spring I graduated from Keene State College with an Architectural Bachelor of Science Degree and a Minor in Safety Studies both with a focus on sustainability. Through my college experience I have taken many classes focusing on sustainable product design and green energy including sustainable construction and architectural systems, sustainable design, and all of my core design studio classes. Earlier this summer I ran into the BioBus and talked with the people and offered my help in any way possible. I hope to make this a lifelong connection and will be helping out in any way I can.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Two different experiences with the BioBus

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I see the fantastic response that students and teachers have to the experience of a BioBus visit at a school. The cutting edge microscopes and imaging technology allow students to collect biological samples and immediately be amazed about the microscopic world. This is not a sterile classroom experience where they are learning about science from a text book. Here they are experiencing scientific discovery first hand. Children are naturally curious, but need to explore the world experience. The use of volunteer scientists from local universities, bring the best scientific minds to the students. The whole process brings the community together and gives the students in disadvantaged school districts the chance to see the world that is available to them if they work hard and study.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Various venues, including schools, science fairs and special events at museums and gardens.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

develop a long term plan to expand the scope of the BioBus to include the other sciences. To bring the excitement in these sciences to the schools.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting such enthusiastic young people who are working together, many volunteering their time, to bring a hands on science experience to disadvantaged children.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Enthusiastic, hard working, fun loving and ready to change the world.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It could expand its reach to more students and to different areas of the country, by buying more science buses and engaging more volunteer scientists to partner with their local schools to improve science education in this country.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to spend with the students. I love science and I love teaching.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Money and the challenge of scaling model up to include more buses and more volunteers. The CEO is stretched pretty thin. With money, however, qualified science educators could be hired to expand the scope of the Cell Motion BioBus.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Volunteer for the Cell Motion BioBus and you too will get to experience the energy and promise of this project.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I first met Ben Dubin-Thaler years ago at a conference at the NIH in Bethesda. At the time I was very impressed by his knowledge of computer analysis of biological microscopy. Later, when I was transitioning my career from research science to full-time teaching, I read about the BioBus in The Scientist magazine and thought that this was a great idea. Schools are weak on hands-on science education and a visit from the bus is precisely the break in routine and exposure to new ideas that make education sticky. This organization is exceptionally well organized, inclusive of volunteers, and provides valuable educational services. Using guided inquiry and real scientists with real microscopes, the BioBus brings valuable lessons to students.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I attended a meeting to form teams of experts to formalize lessons and write grant proposals. The volunteers have followed-up with online collaborative work. Later I received on bus training with teachers. The BioBus staff are impressive teachers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This organization may be a model for guided inquiry science education. I would make this resource more available to schools.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers who are truly dedicated.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and dedicated as shown by follow-up work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

audition science educated people to see if they can teach and then deploy the best of them with good quality equipment to stir up interest for science among students.

Ways to make it better...

I got involved during the school year instead of over the summer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial resources and the demand for their services once word gets out how good they are.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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