The Labster Podcast gives science educators like you a chance to hear from peers who teach with Labster’s virtual labs and other educational technologies. We’ll reflect on learning and curriculum design, and leave you feeling inspired and energized about reaching and teaching your students.
Biotech in Action Encourages High School Students to Invent a Better Future
Do you have a science student with an interest in biotechnology, invention, and making a positive difference in the world? Encourage them to apply to this unique, no-cost, virtual program that connects students from different backgrounds and challenges them to develop interest, confidence and capabilities in STEM. Biotech in Action is a collaboration between the Biogen company and the nonprofit Lemelson MIT program. Labster is proud to sponsor the science simulations for Biotech in Action. In this episode, we reflect on the impact of two years of the Biotech in Action program with two faculty members, Nia Gipson of the Lemelson MIT program and Alex Cameron of the Biogen Community Lab, as well as Dr. Stephanie Couch, the executive director of the Lemelson MIT program. Biotech in Action is open for applications. As Nia Gipson says, “Take a chance, you might just learn something.” Students can register for free at https://lemelson.mit.edu/biotech-action.
How to prepare science students to go out and change the world
In part two of our conversation with Dr Lori Banks, she tells us why making sure that students feel welcome in the lab is a prerequisite to preparing them for careers in science. Her own experience as a student convinced Lori of one thing: her role as an educator is to build self-confidence as much as it is to teach them biology. And for Lori, creating a “nerd army” that will change the world means teaching beyond the textbook, including the use of learning technology like Labster in her program at Bates College.
What’s the value of a liberal arts education to future scientists?
We discuss what the liberal arts have to offer students majoring in the sciences in this first part of a special two-part episode with Dr. Lori Banks. We’ll hear about Lori’s project to develop a “cultural cheat sheet” to help first-gen students prepare for the culture of graduate school. In 2020, Dr. Lori Banks was named to a list of 1000 inspiring black scientists by Cell Mentor. She is an assistant professor of biology at Bates College, where she dedicates her teaching to instilling a love of biology and actively works to embrace pedagogies of equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
Coaching for High School Science Teachers
Are you looking for practical ideas from master teachers about how to integrate Labster into your high school course plan? You can use this episode as a resource for thinking and talking about professional development coaching with your district administrators. SJ and Carlin, a returning friend of the podcast, speak with Liz Russillo about what to expect from PD workshops and one-on-one coaching. Liz is the 2020 Teacher of the Year for the state of Rhode Island as well as an instructional coach at BetterLesson, which provides PD for high school science educators who teach with Labster.
How to Be a Faculty Mentor
Having a faculty mentor can make a world of difference to a student looking for guidance on how to pursue a career in STEM. In this episode, we’ll get to speak with Professor Lucia Santacruz of Bowie State University who combines her love of teaching with her passion for mentoring her students. Lucia shares her thoughts about how faculty mentors can help their students find the right path to a rewarding STEM career. This is especially important guidance if a well-meaning parent is pressuring their STEM student to become a doctor without exploring other options! SJ and Lucia close the session with a reflection on how mentoring can help close the diversity gap in STEM.
"Equity and Representation in STEM Education (Part 2) "
"The importance of providing guidance, mentoring, and opportunities to network drive the conversation in this second part of our special two-part episode with chemistry professor Cord Carter and his former student and research assistant, Brianna Brown. Brianna explains how her alma mater, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, has successfully helped her to stay motivated to reach her bold goals. Cord tells a personal story about how important it was that one of his own professors expressed a personal interest in him, and how he now works to help his students to take inspiration from a diverse group of STEM professionals he invites into his classroom.