A Message from Ben
Dear BioBus Community,
I’m excited to share with you this BioBus Annual Report. This report, produced by volunteers and interns, highlights our fiscal year 2019. Some days, it feels like a distant memory, but it also serves as inspiration as we enter a new school year and work to bring flexible, engaging science learning to students everywhere.
Of course, the BioBus team had to make significant changes during the last year. Junior Scientist Miah was in the midst of her internship when COVID hit. She and all of our Junior Scientists transitioned to work with their mentors and peers remotely to complete research and science communication projects.
“BioBus has been able to push through so many boundaries and so many challenges. […] The whole BioBus family has been there and is still here for us […] offering us help, offering us connections, everything we need […]. It makes us feel like we’re not alone in this and we all got each other and BioBus has got us.” – Miah
As our high school seniors from last year begin their college careers, I’m thrilled to share that 96% of our Junior Scientist alumni who responded to a survey we sent out are following scientific career paths through their education and jobs.
Younger students have been busy exploring science with BioBus in the last year too! BioBus Community Scientists led live-streamed microscopic exploration for school classes through Zoom and Google Meet. Students made observations, developed hypotheses, and experienced the joy of scientific discovery first-hand!
“[…] 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.” – Lower East Side middle school teacher
Students joined afterschool and weekend classes on topics such as science & art and plants. BioBus scientists, guest scientists, and Junior Scientist interns produced 27 video challenges empowering students to use materials students found at home to get offline and do hands-on science. And 37 Town Halls gave students a chance to meet scientists from around the country and ask their own questions. Despite the difficulties of the past year, BioBus staff worked with 20,000 young scientists, and reached thousands more through recorded lessons.
Our mission at BioBus has always been about equity and justice, fighting against the racism and sexism that makes and keeps science careers the domain of the privileged. Our vibrant community – including you – came together again and again in this past year with a common purpose to create a better world. I know you and our students, teachers and families will push through again so we can transition back to in-person programs better than ever.
Thanks to our community, including supporters like you, we’ve been able to adapt, to overcome, to pioneer. We understand the digital learning landscape, and we understand how it has meaningful lessons to offer us about our in-person teaching. We know the value of physical presence. We recognize that those we serve have been hit hardest by COVID and all its attendant difficulties. Most importantly, we know that come what may, BioBus will forge ahead, continuing to serve and be supported by our community with compassion and thoughtfulness.
You, the BioBus community, made possible the amazing achievements detailed in this report. You, the BioBus community, made possible our persistence and growth through the trials of the past year. And now you, the BioBus community, make possible our ambitious planning for the future.
Thank you for your help and commitment to our purpose of building a better world through science.
Ben Dubin-Thaler, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director
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Thanks to the support of our donors and volunteers, we had an incredible year and hit a remarkable milestone – over 150,000 people have boarded the BioBus since we first hit the road in 2008! Here’s how this year breaks down.