ASTC and the Biogen Foundation are proud to announce the next four locations of the World Biotech Tour (WBT), a multi-year project designed to increase the impact and visibility of biotechnology to youth, the general public, and underserved communities in an effort to promote science literacy worldwide. The WBT will improve the professional capacity of science center personnel and create a cohort of young people acting as ambassadors for the Tour in their communities and beyond. The WBT is made possible through a grant from the Biogen Foundation.
The World Biotech Tour includes several biotech-themed events hosted at international sites that engage different generations of life-long learners, both at the science centers themselves and in the community, making biotechnology accessible to all. A key component will be the “Lab in a Box” education kit, which contains experiments designed to showcase the relevance of biotechnology in everyday life, including how to transform your cell phone into a mobile microscope to take pictures of biological samples such as cheek cells.
The WBT had a successful launch in 2015 with stops at Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre in Mechelen, Belgium; Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciência Viva in Lisbon, Portugal; and Miraikan, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan. The next four locations the tour will travel to are:
- Scitech in Perth, West Australia
- National Science Museum in Pathumthani, Thailand
- Montréal Science Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, Italy
In addition to the 12 scheduled stops on the tour over the three years of the program, any and all museums will have access to resources necessary to host their own event, free of charge, on the WBT website.
The WBT will also feature an international Ambassadors Program that will enlist a select group of high school and early university students from around the world to support and inspire others to participate in WBT activities in their communities and schools. Throughout the WBT, ASTC will conduct research on how biotechnology is being taught to the public, both in schools and outside the classroom. The findings from this research will be shared at the conclusion of the World Biotech Tour at the 2017 Science Centre World Summit in Tokyo, Japan.