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Outreach

The Lowe lab is committed to disseminating research to a general audience. This includes our research in evolutionary and developmental biology, and more broadly how comparative cellular and molecular biology in a diverse array of marine animals is foundational to a better understanding of biology. To do this, the lab has been developing the Ocean Education Station since 2022. The Ocean Education Station is a portable station that allows the general public and local K-12 students from historically marginalized communities to explore their scientific curiosities with professional biologists and marine scientists. 

Outreach for the General Public

Our Ocean Education Station invites local community members and visiting tourists to learn about research done in the Lowe lab and at Hopkins Marine Station through hands-on learning experiences, such as live animal interactions in a touch tank and observing specimens under a microscope. The Ocean Education Station is designed to spark joy and curiosity in people, regardless of their age or background, as well as strengthen people’s ability to engage in and communicate scientific knowledge. Using examples of local invertebrates, we show how marine biodiversity allows researchers in the Lowe lab and at Hopkins Marine Station to gain insights into biology that could not be achieved by solely studying classical laboratory model organisms. To further involve developing scientists within our community, we created a community partnership with California State University, Monterey Bay which allows Marine Science and Biology undergraduate students to participate in disseminating science to our guests.

What can you find at the Ocean Education Station?

  • Touch tank showcasing the marine organisms used at Hopkins Marine Station as models for molecular biology
  • Microscopes to observe our different life stages of organisms including larvae and juveniles
  • Art station & button making
  • Scientists that want to show you how cool science is!

Current Ocean Education Station schedule: Friday from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM between March 3rd and May 10th

Classroom & Community Visits: Tabling Events and Classroom Lessons

In addition to our weekly public exhibit, the Ocean Education Station provide two types of events to classrooms in local schools:

  1. Tabling Events: We bring a variety of live marine invertebrates, along with their respective life-sustaining equipment, into classrooms. Additionally, we bring preserved/dried specimens and a microscope for closer observation. 
  2. Classroom lessons: Lessons are hands-on, inquiry-based, and include an interactive activity that encourages students to explore their scientific curiosity. Lessons are designed to be 60 or 90 minutes and they focus on research topics investigated at Hopkins Marine Station such as marine invertebrate developmental biology, animal evolution, genetics, cell communication, and the immune system. These lessons and activities are presented in a way that activates the students’ natural curiosity and allows us to guide them while they work to answer their own questions through various research methods and evidence-based solutions. 

Program goals:

  • Educate local students on the research conducted in the Lowe Lab and at Hopkins Marine Station
  • Provide scientific resources to historically underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged communities
  • Improve students’ willingness to engage in biology-related discussions and activities
  • Foster a positive and engaging environment to learn about biology
  • Encourage scientific conversations in an everyday setting

Contact:
Email jennygro [at] stanford.edu (jennygro[at]stanford[dot]edu) to learn more about having the Ocean Education Station come to your school or community organization, or to set up a free informational chat.