MGS News

A new partnership with Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil


Mariana Tóffolo and Prof Silmara Sartoreto with their MicroGlobalScope kit.

Science House Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership in Brazil in collaboration with the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná.

You can read the original announcement in Portuguese on the UEL site here.

This past summer, Mariana Machado Tóffolo, a Biological Sciences Major who was awarded Brazil’s prestigious Scientific Mobility Program scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras in Portuguese), spent one year studying in the United States, and completed a three-month internship at Science House Foundation, under the coordination of Joshua Fouts, Executive Director of the Foundation.

When Mariana returned to Brazil, she began a research project in partnership with Science House Foundation under the coordination of Dr. Silmara Sartoreto de Oliveira, Professor of Biological Sciences at UEL, (Londrina State University). The research project aims to spark interest in children of 10-14 years in topics related to science, and from that encourage a new generation of future scientists. Professor Sartoreto’s research has focused primarily on pedagogy in the Biological Sciences.

The project being developed by Mariana and under the direction of Professor Silmara is linked to Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope Project. Science House Foundation is headquartered in New York City with partners in 28 countries.

Through this partnership, UEL in Londrina, now represents a new pole in Brazil, putting the University on the map pursuing unique cultural collaboration, informal-science education research. The research will use a hands-on approach providing an environment where students can explore their own knowledge through an investigative educational approach. The children will have contact with specimens of some organisms to be studied, visualized and compared with the two types of microscopes that are included in the MicroGlobalScope program — an upright Celestron microscope and a hand-held MiScope, which has been used for forensics research, which were donated for research by Science House Foundation.

UEL and Science House Foundation plan to collaborate in developing a survey and image data, with a focus on pedagogy and learning processes, beginning with discussions around the initial observations of the students. This project will also focus on the importance of core training of UEL students of Biological Sciences. They will be able to use the kits donated by Science House Foundation in their teaching internships, and thus experiment with new teaching approaches, techniques and methodologies.

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.


– By Mariana Tóffolo

Insects without Borders

From Warsaw, Poland to Michigan, USA


Lepisma saccharina

Stanislaw Staszics Primary School, Warsaw, Poland, November 2011

This week we received a rather unusual, but very exciting request. A Professor from the state of Michigan in the United States wrote Science House Foundation and asked us if he could use one of the pictures posted by our grantees in the Stanislaw Staszics Primary School in Warsaw, Poland. He works at the Microbiology department of the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Medical Center, and is putting together an insect guide so that his students can learn about all the insects in an easier way.

We are so pleased that this student discovery will go on to help other students. One of the purposes of the MicroGlobalScope program is to create collaborative science learning experiences around microscopy. This takes that learning exchange to a new level.

Check out the teacher’s Thank You letter here.

– By Mariana Tóffolo


MicroGlobalScope Featured on Serbian TV

Last modified on 2012-03-30 14:55:16 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

MicroGlobalScope grantee Ivo Andric in Serbia was recently featured on Serbian television for their grant and research! The report is in Serbian with English subtitles provided by dotSUB. You can view the translated news story and background on the dotSUB website.

Congratulations Ivo Andric!