Dr. Jamie Shuda, the IRM Director of Life Science Outreach and Education, and Dr. Steven Farber, Scientific Advisor Carnegie Institution for Science, are the 2018 co-recipients of the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence. Initially covered in February by Karen Kreeger, Drs. Shuda and Farber received the award in April 2018 at the Drosophilia Research Conference in Philadelphia, PA, and they are now featured in the September issue of Genetics.

Nicole Haloupek writes, “Farber and Shuda were awarded the prize in recognition of their outreach program BioEYES, which provides students in grades 2–12 with hands-on biology experience using live zebrafish. The flagship program brings fish—and the tools to study them—into the classroom for an entire week, during which time students observe much of the fish’s life cycle, from mating to the development of larvae.”

BioEYES has brought the program to over 80 sites around the world, and the popularity of it is only increasing. In Philadelphia there is a one-year waitlist. “With so much interest in BioEYES, the only thing slowing its spread is the need to build funding. The program is unique in that it involves coteaching for 3 years with each teacher rather than just shipping them prefabricated materials and having them fend for themselves, and that contributes to the need for dedicated staff. Shuda and Farber started BioEYES with no experience in obtaining funding for projects of its kind, but they have grown the program over the past 15 years through resourcefulness and the generosity of supporters, including the University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Institution for Science, their home institutions.”

You can read the full story by Nicole Haloupek here.

To donate to the Bernard and Joan Spain BioEYES Gift Fund at Penn, click here.

To learn more about BioEYES click here.

Two students at Beechfield Elementary Middle School in Baltimore making observations on their embryos during a week-long genetics experiment with Project BioEYES.