Norfolk State University professors will once again team up with officials at the Children’s Museum of Virginia for the Building with Biology event taking place July 16. The event, part of a nationwide festival, will have fun, hands-on activities designed to encourage interest in the emerging field of synthetic biology and other related science fields. Events are taking place at more than 150 museums and institutions throughout the country during the summer of 2016.
Hands-on activities will be led by professors, researchers and students from Norfolk State University. They will be held in the S.T.E.M. Studio from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and are included in museum admission. Visitors are welcome to drop in during those times as advanced registration is not required. In addition, visitors can design a “super organism” to solve a problem, extract DNA from wheat germ, and discuss which future technologies they’d support. These activities are designed to introduce guests to synthetic biology content and promote informal, two-way conversations between the scientists and visitors about how synthetic biology is interconnected with our society.
Included in the Building with Biology project is a forum − this longer conversation is designed as a facilitated group experience between members of the public and scientists. The forum discussion begins at 1 p.m. and is about biologically engineered mosquitoes to combat diseases. This session will be facilitated by Dr. Ashley Haines from Norfolk State University’s biology department. Dr. Haines’ primary research interest is in the molecular evolution of bacteria and the immune response of their hosts. Partaking in the forum is free and does not include admission to the museum. Participants may pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.