This blog will consider scientific ideas, observations, methods, and speculations, both old and new, and consider how they influence the teaching and understanding of science.
Contributions from scientists, science educators, science students and science communicators are invited and should be sent (as a full post or pitch) to Mike Klymkowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Sci-Ed Team
10/11/16 Update: PLOSBLOGS welcomes Mike Klymkowsky as our new SciEd blog team leader.
Mike Klymkowsky is a Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder (lab site). A first-generation college student (and the child of immigrants) he has received degrees in biophysics from the Pennsylvania State University and the California Institute of Technology. His biological researches have spanned a number of topics, including neurotransmitter receptor structure, cytoskeletal organization and ciliary function, neural crest formation, and signaling systems in the context of the clawed frog Xenopus laevis and most recently in human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cerebral organoids.
In the area of biology education research, he developed (with Kathy Garvin-Doxas) the NSF-supported Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI), as well as a suite of virtuallaboratory activities in molecular biology with Tom Lundy. He has been involved with the general question of how to develop more rigorous, coherent, and engaging courses and curricula in the biological sciences, including a re-designed introductory evolutionary, molecular, and systems biology course – Biofundamentals and general chemistry – Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything (CLUE), both with Melanie Cooper (Chemistry – Michigan State University). This has led to his involvement in the recruitment and training of science teachers through the CU Teach program and the development of the “Teaching and Learning Biology” course with Erin Furtak, taught at both UC Boulder and the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. He was a Pew Biomedical Scholar, a founding fellow of the Center for STEM Learning at UC Boulder, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named the 2012-2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher by the Society for College Science Teaching and received a 2014 Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Excellence award.
Mike has had a long relationship with PLOS, having served as a PLOS ONE Academic Editor since 2010; his PLOS publications include this 2008 perspective on science education for PLOS Biology; orcid ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5816-9771
Yoo Jung Kim is recent graduate of Dartmouth College. She has conducted research at the National Institutes of Health, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, and the University of Washington Medicine Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, and she is currently at the National Institutes of Health through the Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award. She is a contributing author for a various high school reference books published by Greenhaven Press/Cengage Learning and ABC-CLIO and is co-author of a book published by the University of Chicago Press called “What Every College Science Student Should Know.” You can follow Yoo Jung on her Twitter: @YooJKim and her Blog: yoojkim.com
Sci-Ed Past Contributors (their posts are archived here on the blog)
Cristina Russo is a science writer with a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics. As a researcher, Dr. Russo has worked in designing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. She currently writes about careers in STEM for Owen Software. Her passion for science outreach and education is reflected in her blog Dogs on Ice and in her volunteering service at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and National Zoo. Cristina was born and raised in Brazil in a science-aficionado family. She later moved to the U.S. for Ph.D. training at Florida State University and Postdoctoral work at University of Washington. She has been awarded as creative and up-and-coming researcher in both countries. On twitter @russo_cristina and follow her blog. Views are her own and do not represent those of her employers.
Atif Kukaswadia is a Ph.D. candidate in Community Health and Epidemiology. Growing up, Atif was always fascinated by the world around him, and in particular in how our social environment shapes our lives and our personalities. While his current research looks at the health of Canadian youth, he is heavily involved in science outreach. You can connect with him on twitter @MrEpid or at www.MrEpidemiology.com.
John Romano‘s passion and fascination with the natural world would guide him through the rest of his life. He began as a young boy, curating an extensive collection of frogs, snakes, turtles, bugs, worms, and plants. Later, John studied evolutionary biology at the University of Maryland and then took a research position on Komodo Dragons with the Smithsonian Institute, where he contributed a chapter to a published work on the ancient reptiles. Wanting to share his passion on a larger scale John decided to become a high school science teacher so he could infect people with his love of animals on a daily basis. He is currently the department head of science at Girard College where he continues spreading his love and passion for everything living. Views are his own and do not represent those of his employer. On twitter: @paleoromano.
Adam Blankenbicker is an Education Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Before entering informal science education, he earned his B.S. in Geology and Geological Oceanography with a Minor in Mathematics at the University of Rhode Island in 2004. In 2009 he completed his M.S. in Geology at Michigan Technological University in a program that allowed him to do research while serving in the United States Peace Corps in Guatemala, near the Santa Maria-Santiaguito volcano complex. After returning to the United States he continued his work in formal and informal education with the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. He is interested in active, participatory learning for all types of learners and what informal science education centers are doing to educate and engage the public in science.
Jean Flanagan lives in Washington, DC and is a Project Editor at the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Before that, she spent nearly 5 years at AAAS Project 2061, working as Research Associate in science education. Her main interests are in the development and evaluation of K-12 biology curriculum materials and assessments. Prior to embarking on a career in science education, she pursued research in marine ecology, lived on three different marine biological research stations, and received her B.S. in biology from Gettysburg College. Views expressed here are her own, and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer. Find her on Twitter at @jeancflanagan. Jean Flanagan is the original Sci-Ed creator and first project lead.