BioEYES Newsletter July, 2012 Hello BioEYES Supporter,
WHAT'S NEW Baltimore (Valerie Butler, Chandra Harvey, and Rob Vary) The past school year has been a big one for BioEYES in Baltimore City. We are currently in the process of finalizing a memorandum of understanding with the Johns Hopkins University School of Education which will make BioEYES Baltimore a co-production between the Carnegie Institution and the School of Education. We look forward to utilizing JHU's expertise and resources to make our program even better than it already is! Our environmental program, Your Watershed, Your Backyard (YWYB), was once again a rousing success. Partnered for the first time with Trout in the Classroom, we brought YWYB to twice as many schools as in previous years. This allowed us to serve 8 schools, 9 teachers, and 489 students, and release 500 baby trout into Baltimore-area waterways. For more information on this program, check out our Research and Publications page for a Baltimore Sun article about us, along with our brand-new promotional video!
7th grade students releasing baby trout that they raised into the Stoney Run watershed in Baltimore.
While it seems like the 2011-2012 school year only just started, we now find ourselves in the dog days of summer. Despite the heat we're currently dealing with, all of us here at BioEYES sure had a cool year delivering hands-on science to schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and South Bend, Indiana. This year alone, our outreach educators reached 11,926 students, worked with 186 teachers, and had 80 Master Teachers delivering BioEYES independently with equipment and fish loaned from our parent institutions. Since we see the students for only a few days at a time, it can be easy to feel as though we aren't making much of an impression on the students. Luckily, the students themselves feel very differently about that! BioEYES educator Tracy Nelson in Philadelphia reported getting thank you letters from one of her fourth grade classes at the end of the year. Here's what some of them had to say: One boy "learned more about responsibility". A girl wrote "The project got me a lot more interested in science." Another girl wrote "When we got to use the microscopes and pipettes it made me feel like a real scientist!" "Deoxyribonucleic acid rocks!" "Long live Project BioEyes!" Meanwhile, in Baltimore, educators Valerie Butler, Chandra Harvey, and Rob Vary received some lavishly decorated cards following a sixth-grade water quality testing field trip for their environmental program, Your Watershed, Your Backyard (all spelling and grammar mistakes are those of the students):
Due to an expanded training schedule, we were able to double our number of Master Teachers this year. These Master Teachers borrow our fish and equipment to bring BioEYES to their own schools, allowing our in-house educators time to go to even more schools. Last, BioEYES was present for the second time at the Society for Developmental Biology booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Around 15,000 people came to the three-day event and had the chance to look at developing zebrafish embryos under our microscopes and learn about the program from our educators. Baltimore County (Kari Curtis) My first year as a full-time BCPS BioEYES Resource Teacher has been a very exciting and rewarding experience. The program was implemented in thirty-three schools throughout the county. Approximately 2,100 elementary students participated in the program. Six more classroom teachers participated in the training to become a Master Teachers, bringing our total for BCPS to 12! Thirty-five teachers participated in additional professional development on the BioEYES program. Although registration for the 2012-2013 school year has not been announced, principals are already contacting the Office of Science in hopes of being placed on the schedule for the upcoming school year. My goals for 2012-2013 are to continue to bring this excellent program to as many BCPS elementary schools as possible, include more CALS (Communication and Learning Support) and FALS (Functional Academic Life Skills) classes, and introduce the program to select middle schools around the county.
Outside: "Thank youuu BioEYES From: Tylan" Inside: "Dear BioEyes, You don't know know how much I want to thank you! I mean, without you we couldve never finished this Project. But thanks to you, we did. I had a wonderful time with you guys. BioEyes RULES THE WORLD"
Philadelphia (Jamie Shuda and Tracy Nelson) Our two high school sophomore interns, Nafis and Lathario (from Mastery Charter), had a successful end to their spring internship in our lab. Not only did they do experiments with planaria and zebrafish, but they had the opportunity to meet and talk with other researchers at UPenn. The glofish embryos they were raising finally showed fluorescence one month after they were born. Nafis & Lathario were excited to see the purple and orange offspring before having to say goodbye! The internship ended with a mentor appreciation night at their school. We are very proud of them and wish them luck!
Outside: "To: BioEyes People, From: Shiarra Mae." Inside: "Dear BioEyes, Thank you! I appreciate the things you did to make our
trip awesome! I learned so many things! I Hope we see you guys on another trip. We got to do so many cool things! Again Thank You!! From, Shiarra RPEMS 6th grade"
After every program, the students fill out a post-assessment. Following some programs with 6th and 7th graders, BioEYES educator Anita Beebe at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, got the following responses to the question "What is the most important thing you learned while completing this experiment?" (Again, all spelling and grammar errors are those of the students.)
BioEYES Philadelphia high school interns Nafis and Lathario catch zebrafish to breed. "That science isn't boring as I thought it will be. I loke science now. Expeselly the experiment we did with the Zebra Fish."
Did You Know? BioEYES is GuideStar approved! To see our listing, click the donate button and look under the “Programs and Help” tab.
"I think the most important thing was having fun, seeing the life cycle, observing them, and being able to act like real scientists. Thank you Notre Dame! "
"A little thing can lead to a big discovery."
We don't get to rest easy just because school's out, though. We spend the summer months making improvements to our programs, delivering special programming such as summer camps, and other items we can’t find time for while teaching during the school year. This time of year we especially focus on fundraising so that students like those above can continue to receive this excellent, hands-on program. It’s a lot of work but we love making a difference in children’s lives and therefore we love what we do! Finally, we would like to thank all of those who have contributed to making the past year of BioEYES such a success. Without all of the teachers, donors, volunteers, and of course students, we would never have been able to pull it off. Thank you, and we look forward to working with each of you again in upcoming years! 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! Â
BioEYES is a science outreach education program that provides outdoor and classroom-based learning opportunities through the use of live zeb...