Summer 2015 Building with Biology pilot events took place at eight locations across the United States. Hundreds of public participants interacted with scientists and other members of the synthetic biology community in these pilot events, which were held at the following locations: Arizona Science Center, Chabot Space and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, Museum of Science, Boston, New York Hall of Science, Pacific Science Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, and Sciencenter.
Building with Biology pilot events promoted conversations among scientists and members of the public about synthetic biology through hands-on activities and forums. Pilot hands-on activities, facilitated by scientists and educators, were short activities lasting less than 15 minutes that were often presented at a cart or in a demonstration space such as an exhibit gallery or classroom. Forums were intended for youth (ages 16+) and adults to engage with scientists in facilitated multi-directional dialogue and deliberation (usually 1-2 hours) around a specific question about synthetic biology.
As a part of the 2015 Building with Biology pilot events, the eight host sites collected data that have been used to inform changes to the 2016 Building with Biology physical kit and helped us understand the impacts of Building with Biology events on volunteers and publics. The following documents share findings from the pilot events:
Museums and synthetic biology scientists collaborated to develop 19 activities and forums during the pilot year of the Building with Biology project.
As a part of activity creation, developers gathered input from educators, scientists, and publics through a formative evaluation process called Team-Based Inquiry (TBI). TBI engages professionals - with help from evaluators - in an interative four step process of formative evaluation, and was developed by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net; DRL 0532536, 0940143). To learn more about Team-Based Inquiry, you can find guides and videos about the TBI process on the NISE Net website, or you can contact Liz Kollmann.
Descriptions of the 19 activities created as a part of the pilot phase of this project are listed below. For questions about the activities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll put you in touch with the activity developers.