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Sharing Biotechnology at Fairs & Expositions. International Association of Fairs & Expositions December 4, 2002 Tom Zinnen Biotechnology Policy & Outreach University of Wisconsin-Madison& University of Wisconsin-Extension. IAFE Missions:. To Educate To Inform To Entertain.

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Sharing Biotechnology at Fairs & Expositions

International Association of

Fairs & ExpositionsDecember 4, 2002

Tom Zinnen

Biotechnology Policy & Outreach

University of Wisconsin-Madison&

University of Wisconsin-Extension

Biotechnology WorkshopIAFE Annual Conference


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IAFE Missions:

To Educate

To Inform

To Entertain

Biotechnology WorkshopIAFE Annual Conference


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Biotechnology Is Controversial

Biotechnology is changing how we look at life and how we lead our lives.

It’s about our bodies, our families, our land, our sense of right and wrong.

Biotechnology WorkshopIAFE Annual Conference


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Biotechnology is Controversial

  • Its controversial nature makes it an opportunity for learning

  • and for what Cooperative Extension folks call “engagement”.

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Inform & Entertain:

  • It’s also an opportunity for some fun with science.

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  • Our Mission at BioTrek:

    • Sharing Science with Wisconsin

  • Our Goal:

    • Transforming How People View & Do Science

  • Our Objective:

    • Enabling People to Use Science Better in Making Personal Choices & Public Policies

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At BioTrek, we ask:

  • What is science?

  • How is science different from other ways of knowing?

  • Is science about answering “What do you know?”

  • Or is science more about asking “How do you know that? Show that? Test that?”

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Here’s what we avoid:

  • Explainaholism

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We embrace Exploration.

  • What’s the Difference Between a Problem and a Puzzle?

  • We Present Parables, Puzzles, & Paradoxes

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What we do:

  • Tours & Workshops at the Biotechnology Center on Campus

  • Hands-on Science Workshops Anywhere in Wisconsin

  • Website of Resources: http://www.biotech.wisc.edu/Education

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Special Events:

  • Farm Progress Days

  • UW Day at the Wisconsin State Fair

  • Campus Open House

  • Family Science Nights

  • UW On the Road

  • Future Fair

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Here’s where we do Special Events:

  • In a Tent in an Alfalfa Field

  • In the UW Stock Pavilion

  • In a school gymnasium

  • At museums

  • In convention centers

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We work with:

  • Flow-by audiences

  • Family groups

  • Small mixed groups

  • Clumps of students

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We collaborate with:

  • Our staff

  • Extension colleagues

  • Adult volunteers

  • Youth volunteers

  • University researchers

  • Children of University researchers

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We do two types of Exploration Stations:

  • Hands-on Exploration Stations

  • ReSearch Exploration Stations

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Both Require An Engaging Person

  • A Puzzle Giver for Hands-on Exploration Stations

  • A Researcher for ReSearch Exploration Stations

  • This is the strength, and this is the weakness, of the Exploration Stations model.

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Exploration Stations:

  • Our competition at Farm Progress Days, at UW Day at the Wisconsin State Fair, and at other Special Events are not passive museum-type exhibits.

  • The competition is the people who staff the other booths and exhibits and activities.

  • No kiosk can compete with a Live Person.

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Hands-on Exploration Stations:

  • Extracting DNA from Wheat Germ

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Hands-on Exploration Stations

  • Using a $200 Micropipette: Learning to Measure & Move a Millionth of a Liter

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Hands-on Exploration Stations:

  • The Glo Germ Handwashing Challenge

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Hands-on Exploration Stations:

  • Manduca Life Cycle

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ReSearch Exploration Stations:

  • Alfalfa

  • Arabidopsis in Space

  • C. elegans: The See-through Worm of Insight

  • Zebrafish: From Fry to Fish in a Flash

  • Colorful Carrots

  • Gene Screening: Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program

Biotechnology WorkshopIAFE Annual Conference


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ReSearch Exploration Stations

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ReSearch Exploration Stations:

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ReSearch Exploration Stations:

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ReSearch Exploration Stations:

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ReSearch Exploration Stations:

Gene Screening: Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program

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We work with the press to amplify our impact:

Press conference a month before Farm Progress Days

Wisconsin Public Radio call-in shows a week before special events

Newspaper and Radio coverage on the first of three days of Farm Progress Days

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Some things we haven’t figured out how to do yet:

  • Ethics in Under Five Minutes

  • Scheduled talks

  • Learner-driven computer-based interactive exhibits

  • Evaluation of satisfaction

  • Evaluation of transformation

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On the horizon:

  • Genomics

  • Proteomics

  • Stem Cells

  • Drug Development

  • Designer Foods

  • Industrial Feedstocks from Crops

  • Bioterrorism

  • Invasive Species

  • Diatoms: Nanotechnology Driven by Microbial Savvy

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Benefits to your clients:

  • Science Savvy

    • Enabling people to use science better in making personal choices and publicpolicies

    • Awareness and insight into ethical analyses of current and upcomingtechnologies.

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Benefits to you:

  • Relevance through Being at the Edge

  • Working with Researchers and Outreachers to Engage Your Visitors

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