Northwest Association for Biomedical Research Programs
Student Bio Expo
Students need to see why science matters and how it connects to their lives. The Student Bio Expo provides high school students with opportunities to interact with and learn from local researchers. The program engages students in creative ways to demonstrate their understanding of life science. We encourage students’ individual talents and provide them with year-long mentorship resulting in creative projects such as a drama about a family’s struggle with disease or a ballet about malarial infection. The Expo supports the development of future scientists, as well as science-literate citizens. This unique, award-winning science program culminates on Expo day, which engages approximately 600 people in the Greater Seattle area.
Cutting Edge, Nationally Recognized Curricula
NWABR has developed curricula that provide scientific content, ethical background and structured analysis tools for middle and high school teachers who wish to incorporate bioethics into the science classroom. Students who have experienced our curricula show an increased ability to analyze socio-scientific issues and make well-justified decisions. Their awareness of ethical issues, understanding of the connection between science and society, and the ability to list and discuss viewpoints different from their own is significantly increased. Our curricular units include:
- An Ethics Primer
- Bioethics 101
- The Nature of Scientific Research*
- The Science and Ethics of HIV Vaccine Research
- The Science and Ethics of Stem Cell Research
- The Science and Ethics of Animal Research
- The Science and Ethics of Humans in Research*
- Consumer Awareness
- Introductory Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing
- Advanced Bioinformatics: Genetic Research
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Student Bio Expo is NWABR’s signature program that receives minimal government funding and is in urgent need of support. In 2012, almost 500 students intended to participate in this year’s Expo. We currently can only accommodate 350. Your contribution can help make science relevant for our high school students!
The Expo has been successful in engaging and supporting a diverse group of students for over a decade. Over 3000 students have been served and many of them are now pursuing careers in science because of the Expo experience. Students present their projects in creative ways that value their individual talents and strengths; students enter science-based projects in categories as diverse as art, music, drama, multimedia, molecular modeling, writing, and traditional scientific research. Students are supported in their endeavors by working throughout the school year with a science mentor, providing access to resources not ordinarily available in schools and highlighting career opportunities. The mentorship program also supports students from underserved populations by ensuring that they have equal access to the scientific community and are given the opportunity to interact with science professionals.
The Expo’s ability to help students succeed is evidenced by numerous awards and recognitions, including a Golden Apple Award in 2002, recognition as an exemplary education program by the King County Council in 2005, and a Science Education Advocate Award for exhibiting exceptional support and advocacy for science education given by the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) in 2009.
The Student Bio Expo is supported by funds raised locally: individuals and contributors are essential.