Broader Impact - The Biobus Adventure

Dr. Ben

That's Ben Dubin-Thaler teaching aboard the Cell Motion BioBus, a self-powered, fully-equipped mobile microscopy lab. The BioBus was developed to bring hands-on science education to students in New York City and other areas, especially those who lack such resources at school.

The BioBus vehicle -- which Ben converted from a 1974 San Francisco transit bus he purchased off of Craiglist shortly after completing his honors Ph.D. in biophysics more than two years ago -- is designed to be a veritable environment for scientific discovery for schoolchildren and the general public. For one thing, the bus runs on solar and wind power (thanks to solar panels on the roof and wind turbines in the front of the vehicle), in addition to running on waste vegetable oil (obtained from restaurants), giving students the opportunity to learn about green technology. There is even a garden growing on top of the bus.

To provide kids with insight into other areas of science, BioBus is also equipped with research-grade microscopes, computers and a modern lab. In addition to Ben and a smal full-time crew, the mobile lab is staffed by scientists from various research disciplines who volunteer their time. The bus visits more than 60 schools during the school year, bringing students exciting hands-on learning experiences in a wide range of subjects -- from biology and ecology to chemistry and materials science -- through guided experiments and interaction with real-life scientists.

Check out Jasna teaching on the BioBus, or visit to learn more.