BioBus is a non-profit organization that brings high quality, informal biology education to primarily low-income public schools in the New York City region. The BioBus is quite literally a mobile laboratory, equipped with lab-grade microscopes of ranging power/magnification and “community scientists,” as we call them (most of them PhD level), that travels to schools and summer camps to engage students in science!
My summer internship with BioBus has consisted of two parts: 1. assisting with teaching on the BioBus and 2. conducting research in order to develop curriculum for future high school internship programs. As of right now, I have definitely had more experience with the first part: teaching. I have had passion for teaching my whole life, but have always been discouraged by my family (made up of public-school educators) to take on alternative forms of teaching-–outside of the system. BioBus has given me the opportunity to do exactly that, and it has been especially rewarding because BioBus has a strong mission to engage female or female-identified students of color in science education. As a Latina woman myself, having the opportunity to give girls of color a positive, unique experience with science has been especially valuable to me. Having learned Spanish as a first language, I struggled to participate in numerous events as a child due to a language barrier. On the BioBus, I have served multiple times as translator––during school visits and also during public events––and it is truly a treasure to see the look on the faces of young, hispanic children when they realize there is a scientist on board that speaks their language. I feel honored to serve my community in this way, and I can’t imagine a more fitting role for myself.
Towards the end of my internship here at BioBus, my coworker and I will have completed a full, 12-week curriculum concerning antibiotic resistant bacteria in the gut microbiomes of Hudson River tunicates. For now, I have included a picture of myself teaching on the BioBus!
#civicengagement #socialjustice #internship #careerdevelopment #researchproject #biology #science #education