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BioEYES Newsletter April, 2012 Hello BioEYES Supporter,

DONATE! With tax day (April 17) bearing down upon us all, consider easing your tax burden by making a deductible donation to BioEYES. To do so, please visit our website by clicking the “donate” button. BioEYES is entirely funded by grants and gifts. We thank you sincerely for your contribution!

Where Your Money Goes:

While it seems as though winter were barely here in the first place, spring is now definitely upon us! We here at BioEYES haven't been hibernating, though. Quite a lot has been going on at all of our locations: UPenn Creates New Opportunities for our Young Zebrafish Scientists Project BioEYES at UPenn’s The Institute for Regenerative Medicine has expanded to include an after-school science club called Bridge to ReBIO. Over 25 local high school students are paired with Penn undergraduate and graduate science majors to develop unique research projects that are entered in the George Washington Carver Science Fair every March. This year, 22 out of 26 ReBIO high school students received awards and are advancing to the regional fair in April. Among these winners are students from University City High School and Overbrook High School -- two local West Philadelphia schools which after participating in BioEYES got involved in the science fair and ReBIO for the first time!

Bodine High School student Kareema Dixon with her project, Does oil make you boil: The truth behind oil spills and phototoxicity

WHAT'S NEW Baltimore (Valerie Butler, Chandra Harvey, and Rob Vary) With our newest outreach educator Chandra Harvey at the helm, we are gearing up for Your Watershed, Your Backyard. Four schools are

Kareema Dixon, a ninth grader at Bodine High School, won  place in environmental science and was honored by the Environmental Protection Agency for her project, Does oil make you boil: The truth behind oil spills and phototoxicity. After working with zebrafish during BioEYES, Kareema was mentored by Dr. Shuda and Mounica Gummadi, a freshman at Penn, to investigate how oil spills impact embryonic development. Kareema shared, “I came across the idea for this project when I saw an article about oil spills while researching for another project I was doing at the time. The article


taking part in this environmental unit this spring. Eight field trips are planned where students will cycle through different stations: from water quality testing to collecting macroinvertebrates in their local streams to releasing rainbow trout.

grabbed my attention on oil spills and made me wonder, how do oil spills really affect marine wildlife development?” In Kareema’s experiment, she exposed five different groups of zebrafish embryos to five standards of oil and compared the phenotypes to those of a controlled group. She conducted this trial two more times to get a sufficient amount of data. Then after deciding on a standard she took that dilution and used it to conduct another experiment to test phototoxicity. Kareema set up five more groups of embryos, exposed them to 10mL of oil, then exposed them to a UV light to see if they would experience phototoxicity. She observed and recorded the results and concluded that oil does affect the development of zebrafish, and when exposed to UV and oil, the zebrafish embryos experience phototoxicity. Kareema will be competing at the regional level this month! Staff Comings and Goings

A 7th-grade student from Roland Park Elementary/Middle School releases one of their baby rainbow trout into a local stream

This year and for the first time ever for Baltimore City Public Schools, BioEYES is partnering with Trout Unlimited to bring Trout in the Classroom to seven schools. Here’s how it works. Last January rainbow trout eggs were delivered by Trout Unlimited to schools. Students have been raising the trout in their classrooms and they are currently releasing them in local streams. We had our first trout release with Roland Park Elementary/Middle School at the end of March. The trout were released into Stony Run and are doing well. The kids were so excited to set them free and watch them in a natural habitat. We look forward to assisting the remaining participating schools in releasing their trout! Baltimore County (Kari Curtis) To date, the BCPS BioEYES program has been able to reach 1,634 students who attend twentyfive local elementary schools. Students from a variety of demographic backgrounds with a wide range of ability levels have participated in the program. This past winter, Kari worked with several BCPS teachers and revised the current curriculum to meet the needs of the students in our Communication and Learning Support classes. These students have a wide range of learning disabilities and have been identified as being on the Autism Spectrum. We presented the BioEYES program as an introductory lesson to prepare the students for their aquarium field trip. It was extremely rewarding to work with the classes and watch the enthusiasm of these students who are often non-verbal. The students learned to use the scientific tools and conduct investigations while learning about zebrafish. Many of their observational drawings were so accurate that they

Baltimore outreach coordinator Susie Artes with two of her BioEYES students.

We bid a fond farewell to outreach coordinator Susan “Susie” Artes, who retired in February. Ms. Artes was an outreach educator, was instrumental in managing all outreach efforts in the Baltimore office, and in creating and growing the Your Watershed, Your Backyard environmental program. Many of you will surely miss her, as will the BioEYES team. However, we are thrilled that she will be helping out on a myriad of field trips we have scheduled this spring. On behalf of the BioEYES family, happy retirement Susie, and thank you for all of your tireless, hard work!   Please welcome the newest member of the BioEYES Baltimore team, Chandra Harvey. Chandra volunteered with BioEYES for nearly a year before being appointed as the chief BioEYES outreach educator for the Your Watershed, Your Backyard program. Chandra’s background in chemistry, fish biology, and streamwater ecology and her passion for education make her a very competent candidate for the position and we are pleased to have her. BioEYES at the USA Science and Engineering Festival BioEYES is excited to once again be a part of the 2nd annual USA Science and Engineering Festival on April 27-29 in Washington, DC. We'll have lots of wiggly frogs and fish as well as activities for the kids. Bring your family and stop by and see us at the Society for Developmental Biology booth.  


are being used in professional developments for teachers in our school system. Philadelphia (Jamie Shuda and Tracy Nelson) February marked the time for another UPenn “New Teacher Training” session. We were happy to host ten new teachers at this event.  The Philadelphia School took an exciting twist on their BioEYES experience. First they had their 7th graders complete the program. Two weeks later they had their 4th and 5th graders complete the program with the 7th graders acting as teaching assistants! The 5th graders raised their embryos in Delaware River water while the 4th graders raised their embryos in embryo medium. The 7th graders are in the process of comparing data from the two groups, such as survival rate, rate of development, and percentage of mutants. We can’t wait for the results! BioEYES will take part in two upcoming community events: Spring Into Science hosted by EcoExpress and The Philadelphia Science Festival. In addition, we are involved with two other groups who will be studying fish and fish embryos; an elementary after-school science club and Fairmount Water Work’s “Science Saturdays”. Finally, we are fortunate to have two Mastery High School interns with us every Wednesday afternoon. Nafis and Lathario have been helping us in the office, in the fish facility, as well as doing their own independent project with planaria and glofish (separately). They are interested in working with animals in the future, studying their behavior and development. Keep up the good work guys! Notre Dame (Anita Beebe) The BioEYES program has been going very well here in the South Bend area this spring. Egg production has been slightly low from the student crosses, but the University of Notre Dame has been helping by providing "back-up embryos" which the students are able to adopt. Freimmann Life Science Center and their wonderful zebrafish technicians are the team responsible for the care and maintenance of the 1,200 zebrafish used in BioEYES. They also generously set up crosses each Tuesday morning, harvest the eggs, and place them in a small white styrofoam cooler in order to provide a controlled environment for the embryos while they make their trip out to the schools. Therese Blacketor, the administrator of all the Notre Dame extended Research Community's outreach endeavors, gathers the baby fish and then quickly routes them to where they are needed, which could be an hour away! She is often given curious looks as she enters the school offices with her cooler and a look of urgency on

Thank you for your support of BioEYES.   Sincerely,

Dr. Steven Farber BioEYES co-founder and staff scientist Carnegie Institution for Science

Dr. Jamie Shuda BioEYES co-founder and Director of Life Science Outreach University of Pennsylvania

BioEYES currently operates out of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Baltimore, MD; the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA; Notre Dame University in South Bend, IN; and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. We have been able to deliver our programs to tens of thousands of children at no cost to their schools because of the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.bioeyes.org. We thank you for your support!  


her face. Does she have an organ to be donated? What mysterious substance is she transporting? We are ALWAYS very happy to see her (and the embryos).

Karen, one of Notre Dame's lab technicians, feeds their zebrafish

Did You Know? BioEYES is GuideStar approved! To see our listing, go here and look under the “Programs and Help� tab.

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April 2012 BioEYES Newsletter  

BioEYES is a science outreach education program that provides outdoor and classroom-based learning opportunities through the use of live zeb...

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