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 (change.washington.edu) 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 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 Gram, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Integrative 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.