July 30, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Students of all ages have the chance to get educated on marine environments now through Aug. 13 by visiting the “BioBus,” a state-of-the-art mobile science lab popping up in Astoria.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, students have the chance to visit the bus and conduct research on the marine ecology of Hallets Cove Park with the help of on-board scientists and advanced research microscopes.
The BioBus will be parked near the Astoria Houses Community Center at the end of the Astoria Boulevard cul-de-sac.
“New York’s waterfront has been greatly restored in the last decades, going from hazardous to healthy with flourishing flora and fauna,” said BioBus Chief Scientist Mollie Thurman. “Working with residents, we expect to find species of plants and animals in Hallet’s Cove that haven’t been commonly observed for more than fifty years, as we have been finding on the Lower East Side.”
The program aims to prepare youngsters for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Astoria program is the product of a collaboration among the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Council Member Costa Constantinides and the Astoria Houses Tenant Association.
Since 2008, nearly 250,000 students from more than 500 schools across the City have been able to explore scientific research through BioBus’s educational programming.
“BioBus is an amazing program that exposes New York City students of all ages to the wonders of science,” Constantinides said, who is also chair of the city council’s Committee on Environmental Protection.
“Too often, children sadly don’t have a connection with or understanding of nature – even the ecology within a city – which is what BioBus aims to change. Just as important, these students see firsthand that they can one day have careers in the field and become tomorrow’s innovators. I’m so happy to partner with the EDC and BioBus to bring this service to the Astoria Houses this summer.”