ASTC and the Biogen Idec Foundation are proud to announce the launch 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 Idec Foundation.
The World Biotech Tour will include several biotech-themed events hosted at international sites that will 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” product, which contains experiments designed to showcase the relevance of biotechnology in everyday life.
The first three stops of the WBT in 2015 will be 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. 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 at www.WorldBiotechTour.org.
The WBT will also feature an international Ambassadors Program that will enlist a select group of middle and high school students from around the world to support and inspire others to participate in WBT activities in their communities and schools. Throughout the WBT, ASTC and the Biogen Idec Foundation 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.