The Lybbaverse / stem-education  

I am a scientist

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Lybba is thrilled to have just released the film I Am A Scientist, to inspire youth about the benefits of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Released in collaboration with The California Endowment, California Biotechnology Foundation, and the California Department of Education, the film explores how STEM education can open up career opportunities in the life sciences, particularly for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

The film chronicles a day with students from L.A.s Manual Arts High School at the biohackathon that Lybba conceived of and created. Inspired by traditional hackathons by computer programmers and software developers, our biohackathon offered students a real-world DIY science experiment. Lybba’s partner, Wondros, captured the whole day on film, and this footage is the main backdrop of I Am A Scientist.

“The biohackathon was a hands-on, immersive experience that yielded palpable energy and excitement from the students. I was inspired by their imagination and wonderment as they explored outside of their comfort zone,” said Jesse Dylan, founder of Wondros and Lybba. “These students are genuinely passionate about pursuing careers in science, medicine, and research.”

Events like the biohackathon and films like I Am A Scientist strive to create the next generation of health and science leaders. “At the California Endowment, we know that health and academic achievement go hand in hand. This film gives students the opportunity to share how they’ve been inspired by STEM education and that’s the most effective way they can encourage their peers to consider the life science field as well. That’s how healthy communities are built,” said Kathlyn Mead, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The California Endowment. “We want to help students find their passion and to get a sense for what’s possible in the future.”

Enjoy the film and spread the word!

 

View the press release for I Am A Scientist 

Learn more about Lybba's Biohackathon projects

 

 

Wrapping up our series on STEM and STEAM education

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We hope you’ve enjoyed our series on STEM and STEAM education over the past month. Here is a recap of the stories we posted, plus resources where you can find out more about the future of STEM and STEAM:

  • Lybba participates in the first Biohackathon LA event for students from LA’s Promise Manual Arts High School. 
  • Lybba invites readers to explore key questions about STEM and STEAM education
  • Lybba features RISD’s innovative STEM to STEAM initiative, highlighting the close relationship between science and design. 
  • Claremont Graduate University’s David E. Drew explains why we should be optimistic about education in the U.S.
  • Dr. Charles Zollner writes a heartfelt piece about how he got interested in STEM education
  • Two Bit Circus launches the exciting STEAM carnival for kids in downtown Los Angeles.
  • Lybba pays tribute to will.i.am as a musician and proponent of STEM education. 

 

STEAM education: where science meets design

At Lybba, we are particularly interested in the intersection of science and design, which is also the focus of STEAM education.  Here are some fascinating projects that bring the two disciplines together:

 

We’ll keep you updated on our continued involvement in exciting new STEM and STEAM initiatives.

A brief timeline of will.i.am’s STEM education advocacy

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Recording artist and producer will.i.am has won seven Grammies, but his impact extends beyond music. will.i.am is an outspoken advocate of STEM education, and he has leveraged his popularity to shine a spotlight on science. Here are a few examples of will.i.am.’s dedication to making STEM cooler than it already is:

2011 – will.i.am speaks at FIRST Robotics Competition and tweets that founder Dean Kamen is one of his heroes.

2012 – will.i.am broadcasts his single “Reach for the Stars” from Mars.

2013 – will.i.am announces he is going back to school to study quantum physics. 

Thanks, will.i.am, for raising awareness of STEM!

STEAM Carnival debuts in downtown Los Angeles

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Over the weekend, Two Bit Circus debuted the STEAM Carnival, an event where every carnival game teaches kids about science. Wondros family member Melissa Painter attended with her son and took the photo above. For more photos of the event, visit Wondros's Pinterest board, and if you'd like to support more STEAM Carnivals, make a donation to Two Bit Circus's Kickstarter campaign, beginning today. 

What got me interested in STEM

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Dr. Charles Zollner shares with the Lybbaverse what first got him interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and technology) education. It wasn't the image of a germinating dandelion on his science book.

I was a bad student for the first 10 years of my life. School just didn’t interest me. I fidgeted. I got into trouble. Anything to break the tedium. I do remember being intrigued by the science textbook I had in my desk in first grade. I remember it to this day. The cover had a picture of a dandelion seed cluster beginning to disperse in the wind. I think we opened that book twice the entire year.

Subsequent years did little to engage me. School was taught in a very rote form. Memorization was emphasized. All that changed in fourth grade. My new teacher that year, Mrs. Maher, had a different style of teaching. She added a sense of wonder to her topics. Instead of teaching us to memorize that the moon goes around the Earth in 27.5 days, she explained that the moon rotates exactly so that the same side is always facing the earth. Isn't that fascinating? Why, yes it is, I thought. Wait a minute, why does it do that? Her teaching style engaged me. Her enthusiasm was contagious.

Although subsequent years generally lapsed back into the traditional style, a seed had been planted within me. I began to read more. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was generally, an astronomer or a chemist or both. Some sort of scientist.

For me, this geeky interest in how things work eventually found a place to land, like a dandelion seed, within the healthcare field.  If you want something fascinating, there is nothing more fascinating than the human body. If you want to learn about something in order to and make things better, nothing is more relevant and practical than the human body.

This style of teaching can apply to any subject. History can be taught as a dry memorization of dates or as the epic story of empires rising and falling, chance events that forever alter fates and tales of intrigue that have brought us to where we are today.

As today’s education tends toward teaching for an upcoming standardized test, I despair that the students coming up are being denied that sense of wonder.  The extent to which we can capture the imaginations of today’s youth will be the extent to which we can benefit from their talents in making the world a better place. 

As the world careens into a precarious time, whether our own civilization will rise or fall may ultimately depend on the degree to which we have engaged the intellectual resources needed to set it on a steady path. That will likely depend on this one metric: how well are we educating our youth?

Read more posts by Dr. Charles Zollner on his blog.