Archive for October, 2013

October 24th, 2013

A New Partnership in Kazakhstan with the Al-Farabi-Carnegie Program on Central Asia

Students in Kazakhstan try out their new cyber classroom using new MicroGlobalScope equipment. A collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Science House Foundation. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Science House Foundation and the Al-Farabi – Carnegie Program on Central Asia are pleased to announce a new education and cultural collaboration partnership creating synergies between the Carnegie Endowment’s work to find solutions to electricity and telecommunications shortages in remote areas in Kazakhstan with Science House Foundation’s worldwide informal science education program MicroGlobalScope.

The cooperation began when Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s Diana Galperin reached out to Science House Foundation suggesting there might be a way for the two programs to work together to create cultural connections around science education.

Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program connects schools in over 25 countries via a combination of microscopy equipment grants and a unique digital platform in which students, teachers and scientists share and discuss their microscopy discoveries. Science House Foundation believes that two core survival skills needed for success in tomorrow’s workplace are an appreciation for science and a sensitivity for cultural collaboration. We work to create a culture of discovery and collaboration.

Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s SolarTech project has studied a sustainable development model for providing off-grid energy and internet access. Located in Chilik, Kazakhstan, about a two hour drive from the largest city in Kazakshtan, Almaty, the project has worked with a local school- the Tole Kenzhebaeva School to study this model.

A Trip to Almaty

The new MicroGlobalScope kit is unpacked. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Diana traveled to Almaty twice in the past six months, once in July and again in late August 2013 where she delivered and installed the MicroGlobalScope microscopy kit.

A diverse group of community members including local government officials, teachers. children, and women participating in business trainings came out to view the launch. The local elected official, a scientist himself by training, spoke about the community’s excitement for new resources to involve children in science.

The school director discusses her vision for how the microscopes will be used in the school.

Collaborative Science Futures

Al-Farabi Carnegie was supported by an initial seed grant, with plans to see an expansion in the creation of the solar-powered Interent labs in other parts of Central Asia.

We look forward to sharing updates of this unique collaboration with you as we launch in schools in these regions in coming months.

October 14th, 2013

News Stories from Malaysia

“Outside the USA we are increasingly building programs that span a broad range of education levels from early childhood through university.” – Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce, President Boeing Southeast Asia

Our hosts from STEM States, the Australia-based NGO that convened WORLDSTE2013 (at which we held the Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education Summit) have compiled a long list of the media coverage of our gathering in this downloadable PDF: STEMFest2013 Media Coverage.

You’ll find cover stories in the Sarawak Tribune about Skip Boyce, President of Boeing Southeast Asia and Dr. Tin Hlaing, Science Advisor for Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others.

We are thrilled with the great coverage we received and happy to share it with you here.

October 8th, 2013

Science House Foundation welcomes Five New Science Advisors

We are pleased to announce welcome five new science advisors who will specifically be working with the students and teachers in our MicroGlobalScope community.


Beth Kolko, PhD
Professor, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, USA 

Beth Kolko is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Her academic history includes a background in rhetoric, cultural studies, and online communities. She began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and at that point focused on how people used the medium to communicate and interact. In 2000, she co-edited Race in Cyberspace which was the result of several years’ research into how issues of race and gender affected technology usage patterns. She then took those research questions to an international context, spending half a year on a Fulbright in Uzbekistan in 2000. She spent ten years tracking the emergence of information and communication technologies in Central Asia since then, and has worked in several other developing regions, including Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. She runs the Design for Digital Inclusion (DDI) lab at UW. DDI researches diversity and technology from a design perspective, focusing on technology development for resource-constrained environments in order to counteract what could be called a failure of imagination in terms of how devices, software, and services are designed. The DDI group thinks about the other five billion potential users, about computing beyond the workplace or the desktop, and broadly about technologies that can help address the challenges of everyday life. Beth works closely with the change ( group at UW, collaborating with colleagues in computer science on a variety of projects including a low-cost ultrasound system designed for midwives and a new, multi-year global health technology project.

Somewhere in the past several years she started spending time in hackerspaces, attending hacker cons, and diving into DIY and Maker culture. After a few years of that, and after several years marveling at the creativity of students, she started Hackademia in an attempt to bring the habits of mind of hackers and makers into the university setting. Beth is fascinated by creativity, innovation, and how a new perspective on an old problem can be a game changer. Hackademia is an attempt to create a cohort of *functional* rather than *accredited* engineers, to give a wide set of students basic engineering literacy and the tools to explore potential solutions by bringing the creative mindset of the nonexpert into the mix. It’s also an attempt to bring the joy of exploration to center stage.

Sarah Khan, PhD

Sarah Khan is an ethnobotanist, entrepreneur, writer and journalist. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and a PhD in Ethnobotany.

Sarah is a contributor for the award-winning food and culture website, Zester Daily. Her work has also appeared in The Art of Eating and Yahoo India. She writes about the story behind the migration of people and plants, food, culture and the environment. Often, she highlights the origins, culinary, ethnobotanical and medicinal use, contemporary scientific research, and cultivation practices of a particular spice or food. She employs multiple media (photography, video, audio) to convey her stories. Her academic research has appeared in The American Botanical Council’s Herbal GramThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicineIntegrative Medicine by David Rakel MD, and in The American Journal of Health Education.

Sarah is the founder of The Tasting Cultures Foundation (TCF) Inc., a not-for-profit founded in 2009. TCF develops vibrant people-centered educational programming about the multisensory intersection of food and culture. A main focus is “The Arts of Foodways”, a series that highlights artists’ connections to food. TCF has curated two exhibitions: one in Charleston, SC on African and African American Foodways, and a second in Milwaukee, WI on Latino Foodways. By looking at the world through the lens of food, TCF has a fulfilling time co-creating community where all come to the table as equal eaters and contributors.

Dr. Amancio Friaça, University of São Paulo, BRAZIL

Dr. Amâncio Friaça is a researcher in astrophysics, cosmology and astrobiology at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences of University of São Paulo and is also dedicated to history and philosophy of science and teaching in science. Having organized several workshops and schools of astrobiology, he is currently involved in middle and high school educational projects from the point of view of astrobiology and microscopy.



Dr. Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society, Carleton College, USA

Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society Emeritus, taught biology and environmental studies at Carleton for 39 years.  Wagenbach is a leader in off-campus studies directing ecology-oriented programs in Bermuda, California, New Zealand, Australia, and Tanzania.  His on-campus courses included biology of invertebrates, parasitism and symbiosis, and courses in the Environment and Technology Studies program.  He directed Carleton’s concentration in Environment and Technology Studies for four years until retiring in 2008.  His research interests include water quality issues and threatened species of freshwater mussels.  His most recent project involves teacher training and K-12 curriculum development for a bilingual (English & Burmese) school, Lumbini Academy, located in Yangon, Myanmar.


Dr. Lauren Birney, Professor of Education, Pace University, New York, NY USA

Dr. Lauren B. Birney Ed.D is an urban STEM educator with twenty-five years of experience in the field. Currently, she teaches in the School of Education at Pace University preparing both pre-service and in-service teachers in the areas of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, teaching methodologies and research techniques. Lauren earned a B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from the University of San Diego, an M.A. in Counseling & an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. She serves as a consultant to EduChange; a firm that provides professional development; creates content, curriculum & assessment systems; and conducts program evaluation services for the K-12 educational community. Furthermore, serving as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation has been extremely rewarding and gratifying while providing insight into the field of STEM Education.