BioBus and Columbia's Zuckerman Institute: Connecting Kids to the Wonders of Brain Science

Partnership provides more than 30,000 students hands-on introduction to science each year.

The Zuckerman Institute has partnered with the nonprofit BioBus, a scientific lab-on-wheels that visits schools and community centers in upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

The BioBus, a retrofitted Airstream trailer equipped with state-of-the-art scientific equipment, is an immersive laboratory environment where scientists join students and the general public for hands-on scientific exploration. This new kind of lab space is accessible and unintimidating, facilitating scientific engagement among populations historically underrepresented in science professions.

Our scientific ambassador to neighboring communities, this mobile science platform will spend more than a hundred days a year visiting local schools such as PS 125 and the Urban Assembly Institute for New Technologies. It will travel across Harlem, Washington Heights and the South Bronx, providing more than 30,000 students a year with a hands-on introduction to science.

After experiencing the BioBus, students eager to learn more can return to the Education Lab for a deeper look at the science. At the Education Lab, elementary, middle-school and high-school students can work with scientists on long-term science projects lasting weeks or months.

The Zuckerman Institute is helping BioBus to create a new curriculum that will focus on brain science and sensory systems. This will serve as a complement to its biology and ecology curriculum and support multiple entry points and pathways into science for young people.

Top left image: BioBus Executive Director Ben Dubin-Thaler, PhD, with students (credit: Michael Seto).

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