At the beginning of October, we announced our partnership with BioBus, a mobile laboratory for students based in New York City. The BioBus, a 1974 transit bus, is equipped with over $150,000 worth of research-grade microscopes and staffed by PhD scientists. Its mission? To bring an accessible, immersive, and hands-on laboratory environment to students and the general public, offering them the opportunity to participate in the power and beauty of scientific discovery.
Almost every day of the school year, the BioBus parks in front of a school, where students anywhere from kindergarten to grade 12, board the bus and use the top-tier microscopes to explore their environment. The students are given the opportunity to examine crawling amoeba, to image a fly eye, and to visualize glowing, streaming plant chloroplasts.
BioBus’s goal to facilitate scientific engagement even amongst the most historically underrepresented in science professions has been a successful one. Their quantitative data shows dramatic, positive changes in attitudes towards science amongst BioBus participants. They have found that students from even the most poorly-performing schools leave the bus with a new appreciation of science.
BioBus’ incredible mission inspired Lumenera to donate seven of their research-grade microscopy cameras to be used on the bus. Lumenera’s INFINITY cameras will equip the microscopes on the BioBus and allow students to capture their experiments and discoveries utilizing high performance cameras that can be found in professional laboratories. The students will be sent home with the photos they took with the INFINITY cameras and have a chance to be entered into the Lumenera-BioBus “Cell-fie” Image Contest, where the best image taken all school year will win its class the grand prize of a $500 back-to-school supply shopping spree and a microscope to benefit the entire class.
We will be posting the photos taken by the students on the BioBus on our website over the next year. Check back often to view the newest and coolest photos!
For more information on BioBus: www.biobus.org.