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BioBus Visits

Live, interactive laboratory sessions with BioBus scientists

in-person or online!

Join BioBus for a journey into the microscopic world!

Using tools like research-grade microscopes, BioBus scientists guide students through a fascinating biology exploration. Students work with scientists to investigate the world through a different lens, make observations, develop hypotheses, and experience the joy of scientific discovery first-hand!

What does a BioBus visit look like?

A BioBus visit consists of up to six 45-minute sessions on the same day; with up to 30 students in each session.

BioBus visit sessions are designed mainly as a one-time experience, with the goal of creating a welcoming, engaging, and supportive environment where students can experience being a scientist and get excited about science. During a typical session, students work with a BioBus scientist to explore various organisms using a research-grade microscope. They are encouraged to use their observation and critical thinking skills to ask questions, to form hypotheses, and to look for answers; in other words: to be scientists themselves! You can find more details about our session content below.

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Traditionally, a BioBus visit means that one of our mobile labs would be parked in front of your school (or other designated location), and students would make their discoveries aboard the mobile lab. As much as we look forward to the day that we have full classes aboard our mobile labs again, we have paused full-capacity mobile lab visits until further notice.

We have been working hard since March 2020 to develop alternative formats so that BioBus visits can continue in a way that is as immersive, interactive, and hands-on as possible within the public health limitations of the moment. We take the utmost care in considering the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, and take precautions that often go beyond official requirements in order to make sure that our programs do not create an extra health risk for the communities we work with.

Below are the BioBus visit options for the 2021-22 academic year:

Are you a K-12 educator or administrator interested in scheduling a BioBus visit to your school or organization?

Please fill out the form at the link below to inquire about our visits.

Are you a K-12 student or parent interested in signing up for an online lab session?

We occasionally open some remote lab visits to direct enrollment by individual students. View upcoming schedule and sign up at the link below.

Reduced-Capacity Mobile Lab Visits

Although we cannot run our mobile lab programs at full capacity at the moment, we can accommodate groups of up to 10 students at a time on our mobile labs… as long as the weather allows us to keep all doors and windows of the mobile lab open throughout the program.

Pop-Up Lab Visits

If we can’t have the students aboard our mobile labs, we can bring all our scientific tools and samples to the students!

We wheel in our microscopes and monitors on our custom battery-powered carts — or set them up on another appropriate surface — to create a pop-up lab at your school or organization. This has been the main format of BioBus visits since Summer 2021.

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If weather allows for a full-day outdoor program, we can set the lab up at the school courtyard or other appropriate outdoor location. In case of adverse weather, the setup will need to be at a gym, auditorium, or other similar large room with good ventilation.

Remote Lab Visits

Remote lab visits consist of live interactive online lab sessions (previously Discover at Home and Virtual Field Trips) in which students get to experience the joy of scientific discovery without leaving their classrooms or homes!

More than 5,000 students have made discoveries in BioBus remote labs since March 2020. Check out some of the amazing feedback from teachers below.

In order to maximize student engagement, we strongly recommend that each student joins the session from their individual device. We encourage students to participate using any of the methods of communication that are available to them and they are comfortable with: taking turns to speak up, typing in chat, clicking the reaction buttons, using hand signs, making a drawing and holding up to the camera, etc.

While we prefer to host the remote lab visits on BioBus Zoom platform, we are flexible to use the platform that the students are most comfortable with. We have extensive experience in both hosting and joining meetings on Zoom and Google Meet, and we are happy to assist with technical preparation and moderation for these meetings.

What is the content of BioBus visits?

The specific content and flow of each class depends on many factors, including the samples and resources available to the BioBus scientists at the time, as well as their area of expertise. Also, BioBus scientists love meeting students where they are and letting student inquiry guide the sessions. So, if your students love talking about poop, brace yourself for an exploration of poop as it relates to an organism or its ecosystem.

That said, there are certain themes that all BioBus scientists are well-equipped to frame their lessons around. Teachers or administrators can pick themes out of the menu below or let the BioBus scientists deliver a grade-appropriate lesson of their choosing.

For grades K-3…

Microscopes & Me: Discover the wonder of microscopes as you look at familiar living and nonliving things through a new lens, and notice details you’ve never seen before.

Homey Habitats: Examine living things and their surroundings under a microscope, discussing what makes a good habitat.

Bug Bodies: Zoom into tiny bugs, making connections between the appearance of body parts and their function.


For grades 4-12…

Ecosystem Exploration: Explore the diversity of life in an ecosystem, including many microscopic organisms that we often don’t think about. Investigate how each organism contributes to a sustainable, functional ecosystem.

Invertebrate Investigation: Take a close look at various invertebrates, and investigate the adaptations that have allowed these fantastic animals to thrive in their environment.


For grades 6-12…

Brain Breakdown: Zoom into the brain and make connections between the structural form of neurons and the function of the nervous system as a whole. This lesson was designed by BioBus Jr. Scientists and the Harvard Medical School.

Cell Celebration: Uncover the incredible organization of living organisms, zooming in from organism to organs to cells to organelles. Explore the wide variety of shapes and sizes cells come in, making connections between their structure and function.

Data Dance: Transform into a research scientist to form hypotheses, run experiments, collect & analyze data, and discuss your findings with other scientists.

Are you a K-12 educator or administrator interested in scheduling a BioBus visit to your school or organization?

Please fill out the form at the link below to inquire about our visits.

Are you a K-12 student or parent interested in signing up for an online lab session?

We occasionally open some remote lab visits to direct enrollment by individual students. View upcoming schedule and sign up at the link below.

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“My students needed an opportunity to experience labs again and the BioBus got that “delivered” via remote instruction. They helped show my kids that scientists are fun, interesting humans beyond the content. The content itself was informative and clarified a lot of student misconceptions about the Hudson River.”

-- M. R., middle school science teacher, Lower East Side

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“Your staff is absolutely outstanding! They engaged all the students and they make learning this way just the most fun.”

-- P. S., elementary school teacher, West Bronx

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“[My students] loved it and they said that they felt like real scientists!!!!”

-- Y. R., elementary school teacher, East Harlem

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“...BioBus gave my students an entire hour to not think about anything else and just have some fun with science! They were so engaged and could not stop asking questions. It was amazing to see.”

-- E. D., middle school teacher, Lower East Side

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“I know how excited [my students] were. They didn't even have time to send silly messages in the Meet chat, so that says a lot!”

-- J. S., elementary school science teacher, Bushwick

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“My students look forward to any trip or virtual trip we have with BioBus... they've already asked me when the next one will be!”

-- L. F., elementary school teacher, Inwood

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