Education and Outreach Spotlight
Blogging from NIMBioS Education & Outreach
Read our blog to hear about the latest news and happenings related to NIMBioS education and outreach activities.
Access to 3D printing has been a growing trend in K-12 schools. This hands-on module features active learning using 3-D printing technology to teach middle school students about physical scientific models and cell organelles. This activity has already proven a success at NIMBioS' "Adventures in STEM Camp" for middle school girls. In this curriculum module, aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, students learn about physical models and how they are used in science, then design and print their own representations of different cell organelles or flowers. For a Blog article about this module click here.
Dig for fossils and learn about geologic time with a new computer game developed by undergraduate students at NIMBioS. Fossil Finder! teaches the fundamentals of scientific notation and exponents as well as the concepts of geological time scales and the increasing complexity of life over time. Developed as a part of NIMBioS' SRE2016 project Developing Computer Games for Teaching Biology, Fossil Finder! was inspired by and adapted from the Biology in a Box Fossil Unit. For a feature article about Fossil Finder! click here.
Sixteen undergraduates, selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants, participated in the eight-week 2016 NIMBioS Summer Research Experience program. The program ran for eight weeks from June 6-July 29. Participants from all over the country worked in teams with NIMBioS postdocs and UT faculty on research at the interface of mathematics and biology. For information about the 2016 projects and the complete roster of participants. click here.
The 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics was held Nov. 21-22, 2015, in Knoxville. The conference featured talks by mathematicians and biologists, student presentations and posters, career panel discussion, graduate school showcase, and networking opportunities. The plenary speaker was Dr. Robert Smith?, University of Ottawa. Dr. Smith? gave a plenary talk on his research gave a short talk on modeling of zombies. The featured speaker was Dr. Rachel Lenhart, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Lenhart discussed her biomedical engineering research on the influence of surgery on musculoskeletal mechanics in children. She also shared advice about applying to medical school. Faculty, students and local teachers were invited to attend. For more information about the conference, click here.
NIMBioS announced the 17 participants selected for its highly competitive 2015 Summer Research Experience (SRE) program for undergraduates and teachers. Participants were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants. The program runs for eight weeks, from June 8-July 31. SRE participants come to NIMBioS on the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus to work in teams with NIMBioS postdocs and UT faculty on research at the interface of mathematics and biology. For more information about the 2015 program, click here.
The 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics was held Nov. 1-2, 2014, in Knoxville. The conference featured student talks, posters, a career panel discussion, graduate school showcase, and networking opportunities. Plenary speakers were Joseph Tien, Associate Professor of Mathematics at The Ohio State University, and Jeremy Smith, Governor's Chair at the University of Tennessee and Director of the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Lab Center for Molecular Biophysics. Faculty, students and local teachers were invited to attend. For more information about the conference, click here.
Eighteen undergraduates and two high school teachers participated in the eight-week 2014 Summer Research Experiences (SRE) at NIMBioS. The program ran for eight weeks from June 9-August 1, 2014. Participants from all over the country worked in teams with NIMBioS postdocs and UT faculty on research at the interface of mathematics and biology. For more information about the 2014 projects and a complete roster of participants, click here.
Adventures in STEM, a summer camp in engineering, math and biology for middle school girls, was co-hosted by CURENT and NIMBioS, June 23-27, 2014. The program included hands-on activities, lab visits, team projects and culminates in a poster presentation -- all geared toward exposing the student to the exciting challenges of being a scientist or engineer. For more details, click here.
"Spring Opportunities Workshop for Women in the Mathematical Sciences" was held April 9-11, 2014, at NIMBioS. This workshop familiarized women in the mathematical sciences with professional opportunities in academics, industry and government labs to help them thrive in mathematics-related fields. For more information about the workshop click here.
The 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics took place Nov. 16-17, 2013, in Knoxville. The conference featured student talks and posters and a career panel. The plenary speaker was Dr. Mariel Vazquez. For more information, click here.
NIMBioS led a student workshop for the 62nd International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association July 27-Aug. 2, 2013, at the University of Tennessee. "Introduction to Population Wildlife Disease Modeling" Workshop was held July 28 and focused on population scale epidemiological models with examples from wildlife diseases in North America. Instructors were Shigetoshi Eda, Andrew Kanarek, Cristina Lanzas, Suzanne Lenhart, René Salinas and Kelly Sturner.
NIMBioS' 2013 REU included 19 of the country's top undergraduates in mathematics and biology. Participants conducted research at the interface of mathematics and biology. Read more about these brainy participants and the projects that they worked on here.
Middle school-aged girls interested in STEM participated in the Adventures in STEM day camp, held June 3-7, 2013, on the UTK campus. Students were immersed in a week of hands-on activities, lab visits, and team projects in labs and classrooms that exposed the exciting challenges of being a scientist or researcher. For more information about the day camp, click here.
NIMBioS' eight-week summer research program for undergraduates (REU) interested in research at the interface between mathematics and biology took place June 10 - August 2, 2013, on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus. For more information about this year's program and a full description of the projects, click here.
More than 100 students from 44 different institutions in 19 U.S. states, Washington D.C., and two Canadian provinces converged on Knoxville on Nov. 17-18 to present their research at the fourth annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Mathematics and Biology, hosted by NIMBioS. A lively stream of "tweets" took place on Twitter with the hashtag #urc12. All tweets from the conference are curated on NIMBioS' Storify page. A full set of photos from the conference can be viewed here. More information is available on the conference webpage.
The eight NSF math institutes and NIMBioS were pleased to offer three concurrent sessions immediately preceding the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) annual meeting, Oct. 11-14, 2012, in Seattle, WA. The sessions – one for graduate students and recent PhDs, and two for undergraduate students – aimed to invigorate the research careers of minority mathematicians and mathematics faculty at minority-serving institutions.
NIMBioS and CURENT at UT co-hosted a fun and educational day camp from June 4-8, 2012, for rising 7-8th grade girls interested in expanding their knowledge of engineering, math and biology. Students at the Adventures in STEM camp spent the day with faculty and staff from NIMBioS and CURENT, UT's new Engineering Research Center. Students worked on a variety of projects related to electricity, renewable energy, and engineering concepts, and they visited various laboratories on campus. For more information, click here.
More than a hundred undergraduates from around the country gathered Oct. 21-22 to present their research at the third annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Mathematics and Biology. In addition to talks and posters, participants played a fun networking game using their name tags and listened to a panel discussion on careers. Click here for more information.
NIMBioS helped put the 'M' in mathematics during the day-long "Gadget Girls: Adventures in STEM" event held at the University of Tennessee. NIMBioS hosted all of the math-related activities for the 150 middle school girls who attended. In "Measuring a Forest," participants learned why it's important to measure and monitor forests, and in the "Calculating Biodiversity" lesson, participants learned how to apply probability to measure biodiversity. Another lesson, "Fun with Triangles," taught the math behind shapes. For more information, click here.
With activities for a brand new Biology in a Box K-12 unit on STEM under development, several members of the Biology in a Box team traveled to Nashville to the Area Conference for the National Science Teacher’s Association to gauge teachers’ reactions to the new activities. Biology in a Box is a hands-on, inquiry-based program now in 80 school districts in Tennessee and several surrounding states. If you are interested in having Biology in a Box in your classroom, click here.
More than 100 undergraduates from around the country attended the second annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics, Nov. 19-20, 2010, at the University of Tennessee Conference Center. Students presented their research in talks and posters. The keynote speaker was Dr. Abdul-Aziz Yakubu, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Howard University.
An EcoEd Webinar: Math, Computing, Undergraduate Ecology Education and Large Datasets: An Example from a Citizen Science Program, sponsored by NIMBioS and the Ecological Society of America (ESA), was held Sept. 8, 2010, at NIMBioS. The webinar focused on math and computational education for ecology undergrads and illustrated how a large field dataset can be used to motivate hypothesis formulation and assessment by undergraduates.
You can view the archived webinar in its entirety by clicking the links below:
Audio only (.wav format)
PDF version of the slideset presented
Thirteen undergraduates, three veterinary students and two high school teachers from 16 different institutions across the United States recently completed the 2010 summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Research Experiences for Veterinary Students. Participants lived on campus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), and worked in teams with UT faculty to conduct research at the interface of mathematics and biology. Click here to read about participants' experiences.
Nine undergraduate students from across the nation have been selected to receive a 2010 NIMBioS/UBM award to attend the Beyond BIO2010 Celebrations and Opportunities Symposium, May 21-22, in Washington, DC. The conference focuses on initiatives underway at the nation's colleges and universities to transform the way biology is taught at the undergraduate level. The award covers transportation to and from the conference, where students will present their research.
Steve Fassino, who participated in the 2009 Research Experiences for Undergraduates
at NIMBioS, has won an undergraduate research award from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). Fassino, a junior majoring in mathematics at UT, won a EURēCA award in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources division.
Nathan Stebbins, a biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been named a 2010 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Stebbins, who is currently conducting research on cancer biology as an undergraduate, was nominated by NIMBioS to attend the Transforming Undergraduate Biology Education: Mobilizing the Community for Change conference held in Washington, DC, in July.
Nearly 200 undergraduates and faculty from more than 40 academic institutions in North America gathered Oct. 23-24, 2009, in Knoxville for the first annual Undergraduate Research Conference at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics sponsored by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS).
Two undergraduates from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, were invited to share their views on how to improve biology education at a national conference held in Washington, DC, July 15-17.
Jonathan Lockhart, a senior majoring in chemistry and biochemistry, cellular, and molecular biology, and Nathan Stebbins, a junior majoring in biochemistry, cellular, and molecular biology, were among 12 undergraduate students from universities across the country who were selected for the
Transforming Undergraduate Biology Education: Mobilizing the Community for Change
conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).