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
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Community Reviews

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: 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  

4 people found this review helpful

I met with BioBus organizers and was very impressed with their philosophy of open-ended and accessible learning. The components of the Pond Water module were refined to address local educational guidelines, but high priority was placed on leaving the discovery process open through free sampling of water.

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

learning about microscope use and renewable fuel technologies at a Biobus-attended Earth Day event.

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

educated, passionate, and organized.

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

deploy a fleet of buses with varying curricula to all parts of the country. It would put real science in the hands of students at a time when instrumentation is becoming a critical part of cutting-edge research.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The BioBus is run by a small group of inspiring individuals who have helped bring science to underprivileged students in the areas around New York City. They are particularly dedicated to their work, even though they do not get paid significantly for it. I began volunteering for them this past summer and was astonished at the amount they had already accomplished with a small team. My only criticism is that they could use more hands to help and that there isn't yet a second BioBus. Most importantly, the organization is making important scientific issues (such as climate change) accessible to young students and ultimately raising genuine interest in science for the next generation. In my short time volunteering, they have made me feel very welcome and have a contagious amount of enthusiasm.

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

Although I have never personally been at a teaching session, I have heard countless positive first hand accounts from other volunteers.

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

their intelligent and enthusiastic volunteers.

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

intelligent, enthusiastic, and genuinely dedicated to their work.

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

inspire and motivate the next generation of great scientists, regardless of their socio-economic boundaries.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The BioBus is fantastic! I volunteered during the World Science Festival in NY, at the Gathering of the Vibes music festival in CT, as well as at a handful of summer camps in NY. I saw students of all ages come on board the bus and become excited by the beauty and complexity of the microscopic world.

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

getting people excited about science.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I am in the 9th grade, and i really enjoy working on the Biobus and with Dr. Ben Dubin-Thaler. The bus is very exciting, because a lot of the classes he teaches are all about tiny organisms. kids get really excited about being able to use microscopes and they learn a lot more about science then they knew before.

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

entering the student reviews.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

In 2008, I assisted Dr. Ben with teaching several classes of students at Frederick Douglass Academy III (FDA III). The plan was to bring on as many students as possible in several groups so that they could get a brief overview of what the BioBus was and encourage them to begin to work with us. I met quite a few students, some of which were really excited about what Dr. Ben was doing. After a very tiring, and very rewarding day, I began to walk to the train to take me home. On my way there, I ran into one of the students, a young woman, which had showed interest in the BioBus. We discussed how to learn more, even touching on how graduate school helped me. Months later, I again volunteered on the BioBus to assist Dr. Ben at FDA III. I was surprised and gladden to see the same young woman working on the BioBus in the after school program. Given the continuing need for scientists, the BioBus shows students that science is exciting, and that being a scientist is an attainable career.

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

witnessing the fundamental shift in the mentality of young students to become scientists.

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

try to get more teachers involved to spread the message of the BioBus among other educators.

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

working with the students from the different schools

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

courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable

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

be unstoppable in creating a fleet of BioBuses to teach 100s of underprivileged schools.

Ways to make it better...

the program being taught the students was a bit more structured. However, this issue is something Dr. Ben has focused on over the past year.

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

Getting the word out about the program and cutting through the administrative red tape in most school systems.

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

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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