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Interested in Sharing your Love of Science with Others? Come to the BioBus Recruitment Event Tomorrow, May 2

Interested in Sharing your Love of Science with Others? Come to the BioBus Recruitment Event Tomorrow, May 2

You may have noticed  that the BioBus arrived this afternoon and is currently parked in the BioLabs’ courtyard. This is because tomorrow, May 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., it will be holding a recruitment event to learn more about volunteering. 

Anyone in the MCB community—undergraduate, graduate students, research staff, postdocs, and faculty—interested in being trained to volunteer is welcome and encouraged to stop by. The BioBus will be on-site this Friday as part of MCB’s 30th birthday bash.

This will be an opportunity to speak with BioBus representatives to learn what’s involved with volunteering. There is no need to make reservations ahead of time. If you can’t make it but would like to learn more about volunteering for the BioBus, sign up using this form either before, during, or after the event.

The BioBus first came to Harvard in 2018 when Sarah Weisberg, BioBus co-founder, 2008 Harvard graduate, and MCB concentrator brought it up from New York City for her 10th-year Harvard College reunion.  While at Harvard, Sarah was working in the lab of Aravinthan Samuel in the Department of Physics. 

“Sarah learned to love microscopy in my lab, but she most loves the joy of getting others to look into microscopes and see new worlds,” recalls Samuel, who did his postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Howard Berg. “I had the same experience when I was in Professor Berg’s lab, first seeing swimming bacteria under a microscope, the same kind of joy that Leeuwenhoek must have felt when he first discovered bacteria with his single-lens microscope in the 1600s in Delft. That joy of discovery with optics and describing the visual world is, incidentally, the same joy I bring to a separate endeavor of mine, teaching Art History in the Dutch Golden Age (the age of Leeuwenhoek).”

Samuel describes the enthusiasm of his graduate student BioBus volunteers. “Their greatest joy is just working with kids,” he says. “Kids are invigorating, they keep us young and motivated. Graduate school can be a grind, often thankless days with little progress. But spending a few hours brightening young people’s lives will lift the BioBus educator’s mood.” 

Professor Samuel was so impressed by his own experience with the BioBus in 2018 that he and MCB Scientific Director, Polina Kehayova, with the assistance of MCB’s Katie Scrocca, successfully wrote a grant to the National Science Foundation to support it, a grant that covers the training of the volunteers and expenses of the bus to visit various schools.

“We have been working with the BioBus for years and the program has been fantastically successful in all of its outreach visits at local schools and events,” says Kehayova. “Our students who have done outreach with BioBus always report on how rewarding and energizing the experience was. Seeing little children light up with excitement about doing science and eagerly line up to do the activities on the Bus must be one of the best experiences for anyone who wants to share their own excitement about scientific discovery with others!”

For several years now, MCB volunteers have continued to support the BioBus, including staffing the bus at local events with the recent help of MCB students Helena Casademunt, Mary Richardson, Yash Rana, Lily He, Maati McKinney, Maya Waarts, and Cheshta Bhatia, Rockwell Anyoha, Joshua Pace, and Nicole Voce.