Founded in 2008, BioBus works towards a future in which all people have experienced the power and beauty of making a scientific discovery. We cultivate this vision by creating immersive laboratory environments in which scientists join students and the general public for hands-on scientific exploration. This new kind of laboratory space is accessible and unintimidating, facilitating scientific engagement even amongst populations historically underrepresented in science professions. Within this space, scientists share their expertise and knowledge through direct, hands-on experiences, allowing participants to reshape their view of science through participation in the discovery process. Through this work, we believe a future is possible in which every human being has experienced science in an exciting, authentic, hands-on setting. See our progress in our 2015 Annual Report.

Ben Dubin-Thaler

Sarah Weisberg

Latasha Wright

Sascha Russel

Mollie Thurman

Tiffany King

Francesca Anselmi

Rob Frawley

Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler

Samantha Sheppard-Lahiji

David Yap

Li Murphy

Danny Valdes

Georgina Capetillo

Sasha Chait

Amy Miller

Raymond Wilkerson

  • John Butler, President, Chairman
  • Reva Gaur, Vice President
  • Sadia Halim, Treasurer
  • Jared Fox, Secretary
  • Matthew Baldwin, Director
  • Nicolas Biais, Director
  • Deval Desai, Director
  • Josh Dormont, Director
  • Stephen Jan, Director
  • Naira Musallam, Director
  • Quentin Van Doosselaere, Director
  • The BioBus research grade mobile science lab (a refurbished partially solar- and biofuel-powered 1974 transit bus with over $100,000 of microscopes) and the BioBase research grade community science lab give 30,000 students annually the chance to feel the excitement of making a scientific discovery. Through our STEM programs taught by PhD and Masters-level scientists, we help to generate interest among and empower New York City youth to create the next generation of scientists.

    Since our first students boarded the BioBus in 2008, we have been on the road teaching for over 950 days, giving almost 150,000 people at more than 500 schools and community events the opportunity to work side-by-side with professional scientists and explore their environment using research-grade microscopes normally found only in top-tier laboratories. Almost every day of the school year, the BioBus parks in front of a school, giving students the chance to use a phase-contrast video microscope to make movies of crawling amoeba, use a scanning electron microscope to see a fly eye, and visualize glowing, streaming plant chloroplasts using a fluorescence microscope. Students work alongside research scientists that form the BioBus staff as well as volunteers ranging from students from local colleges and universities to Nobel Prize winner Martin Chalfie to Bill Nye “the Science Guy.” Students from even the most poorly-performing schools leave the bus with a new appreciation for how “cool” science is, encouraged by their positive interactions with diverse scientist role-models, with many students proclaiming, “I want to be a scientist!” after their experience. Quantitative data shows dramatic, positive changes in attitudes towards science amongst BioBus participants. Financial aid from our generous community of donors ensures the the BioBus is able to spend over 65% of its time cultivating science excitement in the most under-resourced, high-poverty communities in the NYC metropolitan area.

    The BioBase open it’s doors in 2014, providing students with a space to conduct in-depth research projects using the same research-grade microscopes alongside PhD and Masters-level scientists. Students, typically grade four through high school, visit the BioBase weekly for a semester or longer or for a week long summer camp, with topics including local urban ecology, art and science, and research of the students’ choice. We offer after school, weekend, and school break classes, as well as internships, school trips, and community events. BioBase students receive individual mentorship from practicing research scientists as they develop their own hypothesis-driven experiments. These experiences act as the first steps along a student's path towards a STEM career and, together with the BioBus, create a positive science community that can foster and support desire for and commitment to long-term science practice. Many students return for multiple BioBase programs and bring their families to events.

    Sign up for BioBus and BioBase programs here. 

    Donate to support BioBus and BioBase science education and engagement programs here. 

    Mobile science laboratories have been identified as an important part of improving science education by NYC elected officials,1 the National Institutes of Health,2 and the National Academy of Sciences.3 80% of our staff are from groups underrepresented in STEM fields, an important factor in inspiring the primarily black, Hispanic, and female students with whom we work.4,5 95% of teachers requesting return visits from the BioBus because of the passion for science it ignites in their students. 65% of our students are African American or Latino. Over two­-thirds of the schools the BioBus visits serve low­-income communities. Internal and external research­-level evaluations show significant positive impacts on student attitudes towards science following BioBus programs. Eighty­-four percent of teachers rate the BioBus as "equally," "more," or "much more" valuable to their students as compared to a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Hall of Science, or the Liberty Science Center. Survey results and conversations with parents confirm that many students experience a dramatic positive shift in their attitudes towards science as a result of enrolling in BioBase courses.
    1 Lost In Space: Science Education in New York City Public Schools, New York City Council, 2004), page 22 2 program has provided major grants to three different mobile lab programs 3 America’s Lab Report (2005) National Academies of Sciences, page 176 4 Research Shows Why Misty Copeland Is So Important 5Under-represented and underserved: Why minority role models matter in STEM