Sticker Shock: Biology Students Design Science for Social Change

Sticker Shock: Biology Students Design Science for Social Change

Biology juniors recently learned how to effect positive change through…stickers? SCH’s 2024 Kleckner Scientist in Residence Dr. Sarah McAnulty, squid biologist, director of Skype a Scientist and science communicator recently worked with biology students over four days, teaching them how to take important social action through science communication. Her visit was the culmination of their new science messaging unit, which involves students choosing important biological topics of interest that have social relevance, researching reliable sources, and conveying accurate and timely information to the public. 

McAnulty is the executive director of Skype a Scientist, a nonprofit that connects thousands of classrooms to scientists every year. She and her team bring science to people via personal connections and public art in Philadelphia. On the Skype a Scientist website, she writes: “Our approach is to put science directly into people’s lives, using public art in the form of stickers, posters, and murals. Our work aims to highlight important and relevant topics that connect people to each other and to the latest and most accurate scientific information. Each project includes ways for people to learn more, via social media and QR codes, along with action items to empower viewers with ways they can get involved.”

Under McAnulty’s guidance, students designed and created stickers to educate the public about important medical, health, environmental, and other biology-related issues of their choice, advising them to choose a topic that they are passionate about, be brief and accurate, and create visuals and text that align with their mission.

"This was a fun way to end the year and it was both a relaxing and informational project,” said junior Kam Waters.

McAnulty also presented “Missed Connections: Weaving Science into Everyday Life,” a hands-on workshop for teachers during her visit.

The Kleckner Scientist in Residence Fund, named for longtime beloved science teacher Florence Kleckner, supports the visit of a nationally renowned scientist to SCH Academy every year. The Science Department has welcomed a scientist in residence since 2007. 

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