Discover programs are 45-minute science lessons that take place in BioBus’s mobile laboratory, which is equipped with varied scientific equipment and has scientists who teach age-appropriate lessons. The Explore programs are longer, in-depth lab courses that are held after school and during weekends at community centers and at BioBus research labs. The Discover program engages many English language learners (ELLs), but few of the organization’s scientists speak Spanish, and all of the student worksheets are in English. This language barrier adversely affects the scientists’ ability to excite, engage, and teach ELL students, and also inhibits students from moving to the advanced Explore Lab programs. With this grant, BioBus will enroll their scientists in Spanish Language classes and also engage a Spanish language tutor to teach the scientists relevant terms and concepts in Spanish and work with them on the curricula that is taught in the mobile labs. Finally, BioBus will translate to Spanish all materials students use in the Discovery program.
BioBus wants to improve its introductory Discover programs and its Explore Lab courses, which provide hands-on science education to K-12 students in New York City.