The latest New Yorker of the Week works to enhance students' love of learning by driving scientific expeditions to schools in low-income neighborhoods. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
The BioBus takes the field trip to school. The 40-foot laboratory on wheels parks and excites every day.
"We get to do cool experiments and we play really fun games," says student George Eisenman.
"It’s so cool to walk into a bus with so much science in it," says student Elle Sabarese.
Magnifying that wonder is Latasha Wright, the chief scientist of the BioBus.
"Sometimes, when you learn science in schools, you’re just reading about it. But in the BioBus, you experience science, so science becomes alive. It becomes a living and breathing thing," Wright says.
The BioBus is equipped with computers and microscopes running entirely on solar power. By immersing students in discovery and experiment, Latasha and other scientists hope students become critical thinkers and learn to trust their observations.
"The most important thing is to ask questions - always continue to ask questions and never really accept what everybody is telling you - and to maintain a curiosity that you had at 3-year-old until you're at 45 million years old," Wright says.
"Everybody is a natural scientist, and so many people, through their science education experiences, shut off that part of their natural curiosity. And so I think really what we're doing is just keeping doors open," says Sascha Russel, a staff scientist with BioBus.
Since 2008, the BioBus has made stops at more than 600 schools throughout the five boroughs.Latasha is working to double those numbers in the next decade.
"Her enthusiasm and just excitement about science, it's just so infectious that it makes you want to tell everyone more about what you do," says Mollie Thurman, a staff scientist with BioBus.
"She helps us learn a lot of things about science," says student Mika Magnes.
"I love your BioBus," says student Lizmary Morales. "You teach me a lot of stuff. And I hope you can teach them again to me sometime."
So, for empowering the next generation of scientists, Latasha Wright is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
For more information about the program, visit biobus.org.