Back to School with PSBR: Virtual Science Lessons and More

Posted by PA Society for Biomedical Research on September 29, 2020

Greetings from Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR).  Wow!  Where to begin?  We’d like to start by saying that we hope everyone has remained healthy and safe during these challenging times.  We hope that your school year has gotten off to a good start and that you’ve been able to adjust your instruction to meet the demands of this new educational landscape.

With a couple weeks under your belt, we hope that you’ve settled into a “new normal” (whatever that is for you and your students).  At this point, we’d like to extend a helping hand and ask “what can PSBR do to assist with your educational needs?” As you might expect, in the short term, PSBR is moving away from hands-on activities and moving toward interactive virtual programs!

Virtual Science Lessons – Over the summer, we spent some time developing Virtual Science Lessons aimed at showcasing how scientists work with animals to investigate complex biological processes.

  1. Cavefish Lesson – Students work with Dr. Dave! to learn about environmental adaptation and how blind Mexican cavefish are helping scientists perform research into complex diseases like insomnia and diabetes (geared toward upper middle school and high school students).
  2. Fruit Fly Lesson – Students work with Dr. Dave! to: 1) learn how fruit flies are being used to investigate complex diseases; 2) how to use a microscope; and 3) how to design and conduct an experiment (geared toward upper elementary and middle school students).
  3. Daphnia Lesson – Students work with Dr. Dave! to compare the various parts of a water flea to their own bodies.  Students will look at Daphnia virtually through a microscope while drawing their observations (geared toward upper elementary and middle school students).

Live and Direct Career Guidance in the Biomedical Science Field – From performing science in an academic setting to working for a pharmaceutical company, from teaching at colleges/universities to performing outreach as a nonprofit educator, Dr. Dave! has seen and done a ton in the biomedical science arena.  Students will gain insight not only about professional options in this field, but also learn lessons in life through Dr. Dave’s! own successes and missteps!

Lunch-N-Learn: Virtual conversation with Dr. Dave! – Do your students have questions about biomedical science?  Do they want to know more about careers and jobs?  How about drug development? Well don’t hesitate to schedule a lunch meeting with Dr. Dave! and let your students ask away!

The Future – As we learn what teachers and students need, we hope to generate additional virtual content this fall. Stay tuned…  In the meantime, you can check out this short video that highlights our SPARC (Science Program and Research Coach) mobile science program that aims at bringing authentic, hands-on science activities and experiments to your classrooms.  Keep an eye out for this next phase of educational programming, once things get back to normal.  
Finally, we can still offer in-person programs aligned with appropriate safety guidelines, local conditions permitting . To request either virtual or onsite activities, please use our Program Request Form and Dr. Dave! will reach out to you shortly.

Interested? Questions? Contact Dr. David Garbe at

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