April 19, 2014

“Discovery Day”: A Slideshow

MBLdiscovery27-web-cropOne of the highlights of the MBL’s 125th Anniversary celebration was Discovery Day on July 16, a family science fair held on MBL Street and in the Quad. A range of fun, hands-on activities were offered by the MBL’s centers, programs, courses, and individual scientists to the crowd of families and children that attended. Other highlights were the cutting of the 125th Anniversary cake by MBL President and Director Joan Ruderman, and a talk on “My Path to a Nobel Prize” by MBL Distinguished Scientist Osamu Shimomura, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.  Many thanks to all who participated!

Here is a slideshow of the day’s events by Whitney MacKenzie, the 2013 MBL Club Coordinator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14w9yklxzRg

 

 

MBL and Children’s School of Science: Celebrating Together

By Karen Dell

This summer marked major anniversaries for two Woods Hole institutions. In July, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) commemorated 125 years of world-class research, while just across Eel Pond, the Children’s School of Science (CSS) celebrated 100 years of sharing the wonders of nature with children from all over the world.

Biologist Lilian Vaughan (Sampson) Morgan, an MBL investigator in the 1890s, was one of the founders of the Children's School of Science.

Biologist Lilian Vaughan (Sampson) Morgan, an MBL investigator in the 1890s, was one of the founders of the Children’s School of Science.

The histories of the MBL and CSS have been entwined by more than proximity since the Summer School Club, as CSS first was known, was established in August 1913. CSS was founded by a small group of women, many of whom had ties to the MBL. Frances Crane Lillie, the school’s first president, was a student in the MBL Embryology course in 1894 when she met her future husband and MBL director, Frank R. Lillie. Nellie Gray, the school’s first vice-president, was married to George Gray, a collector and curator in the MBL Supply Department.

Cornelia Smith Crane served as the second vice-president of the Children’s School of Science.  Her husband, Charles Crane, was a prominent Chicago businessman and a strong financial supporter of MBL, as well as president of the MBL Corporation (now called the MBL Society). Dr. Anne Leonard Loeb, wife of MBL visiting scientist and trustee Jacques Loeb, was also a member of this CSS founding group.

CSS was formed to encourage the intellectual development of Woods Hole children and to integrate and enrich the greater community. While its original program included singing and dancing, science education quickly became the focus. Lilian Vaughan Morgan, an MBL investigator and wife of Thomas Hunt Morgan, was the first chair of the school’s Science Committee. She reportedly said, “In all the science classes there will be special emphasis on work out of doors and on experiments and problems and collections made by the pupils,” a concept that has guided the school’s programs for 100 years.

Ties between the MBL and CSS remain strong 100 years later. Children of MBL investigators and summer researchers continue to delight in CSS classes and Science School benefits from the continuing generosity of MBL in providing specimens and expertise.

Students in the 2013 Advanced Entomology class at the Children's School of Science take nets to the air. Credit: Beth Armstrong

Collecting insects in the 2013 Advanced Entomology class at the Children’s School of Science. Credit: Beth Armstrong

CSS students visit the MBL Ecosystems Center, where MBL scientist J.C. Weber tells them about the Oceanic Flux project. Credit: Beth Armstrong

2013 CSS students visit the MBL Ecosystems Center, where MBL scientist J.C. Weber tells them about the Oceanic Flux Program. Credit: Beth Armstrong

Greater detail about the Children’s School of Science, its programs, and the cultural events that helped shape its history since the early 20th century can be found in Wet Sneakers & Nets: the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole, Massachusetts Celebrates 100 Years of Summer Science Education, 1913-2013.

Happy Birthday to both the MBL and CSS, and best wishes for another 100 years of collaboration!

Karen Dell is a past member of the CSS Board and current co-chair of the school’s Curriculum Committee.

CSS assistant Jack Cummings, center, tries to catch a frog during a 2013 Animal Behavior class. Credit: Beth Armstrong

CSS assistant Jack Cummings, center, tries to catch a frog during a 2013 Animal Behavior class. Credit: Beth Armstrong

 

“My Path to a Nobel Prize”: Special Talk by Osamu Shimomura at “Discovery Day”

Osamu Shimomura, 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, will give a special, family-friendly talk this Wednesday, July 17, as part of the MBL’s “Discovery Day” science fair and 125th Anniversary celebration. All “Discovery Day” events are free and open to the public. [ A video of Dr. Shimomura's lecture is posted here. ]

Dr. Shimomura’s talk, titled “My Path to a Nobel Prize,” will be 4:15 PM to 4:45 PM in Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole.

The bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea, source of the green fluorescent protein. Credit: Osamu Shimomura

The bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea, source of the green fluorescent protein. Credit: Osamu Shimomura

An expert on bioluminescence in nature, Dr. Shimomura won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of “green fluorescent protein” in the jellyfish Aequorea in 1962.

This brightly glowing protein, known as GFP, “has become one of the most important tools used in contemporary bioscience. With the aid of GFP, researchers have developed ways to watch processes that were previously invisible, such as the development of nerve cells in the brain or how cancer cells spread,” the Nobel Foundation stated in announcing the prize.

Shimomura, who holds the title of MBL Distinguished Scientist, was a senior scientist at the MBL from 1982-2001, prior to his retirement.

To attend “Discovery Day” events on Wednesday, including Dr. Shimomura’s talk, the public is invited to park in the MBL’s Devil’s Lane parking lot (opposite 379 Oyster Pond Road, Woods Hole). Continuous shuttle service will be provided from 3 to 6 PM to the celebration on the MBL campus.

Osamu Shimomura in the MBLWHOI Library with a book he wrote, "Bioluminescence: Chemical Principles and Methods." Credit: Tom Kleindinst

Osamu Shimomura in the MBLWHOI Library with a book he wrote, “Bioluminescence: Chemical Principles and Methods.” Credit: Tom Kleindinst