Explore the World through All of Your Senses at the 2017 Forum on Consciousness

2017 forumThe 16th International Forum on Consciousness, Conscious Evolution: Awakening Through the Senses, in Madison, WI, May 18-19, will bring together a diverse group of presenters including Diane Ackerman (Best-selling Author, The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses),  Rebecca Alban Hoffberger (Founder and Director, American Visionary Art Museum), Louie Schwartzberg (Cinematographer, Director and Producer) and Andrea Stevenson Won (Director of the Virtual Embodiment Lab and Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Cornell University), among others.

This year’s forum focuses on the senses, and explores how altering awareness of sensory inputs might change perceptions of reality and expand consciousness in positive directions for self and others.  In addition to presentations, attendees will have opportunities to engage in direct sensory experience through virtual reality, movement, sound and visuals, as well as tastes and aromas. Find more information at www.btci.org/consciousness.

The forum is open to the general public, but participation is limited to 300 people, and advanced registration is required. The registration fee is $250.00 (US), and scholarship opportunities are available. Registrants will have the opportunity to join a presenter for a small-group discussion over dinner on Thursday, evening, May 18, for an additional $85.00 (US).

About BTC Institute

The BTC Institute is a not-for-profit organization operated exclusively for educational, scientific and cultural purposes. Learn more about its K–12 programs, scientific course offerings, and annual educational forums and symposia at www.btci.org/.

Biotechnology Youth Apprentice Madhu Gowda Wins GRAND PRIZE at the Capital Science and Engineering Fair

Madhu presents her work.

Madhu presents her work.

Imagine the pleasure Barbara Bielec, the BTC Institute’s K-12 Program Director and co-coordinator of the Dane County Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology (YAP-Biotechnology), felt when reading this recent message from Sharon Tang, one of our apprentice’s mentors:

“I am unbelievably proud to let you know that Madhu won not only first place for the biological science projects, but also the GRAND PRIZE at the Capital Science and Engineering Fair this weekend! She was at the fair from 7:30am until 4:30pm presenting her work done in our lab and did a fantastic, eloquent job speaking about her project. This was such an impressive honor – she won among over 20 competing students in the region, earned a cash award, and will be competing as a finalist at the Intel international science fair in May. I’m sure she’ll tell you, but I am just over the moon and wanted to share the news as well. Attaching a photo I took of her in action.”

A second year student in the program, Madhu is a senior at Middleton High School. Since November, 2015, she has been working in the lab of Dr. Susan Thibeault in the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Continue reading

The Unforgettable Experience of Traveling: Beyond the Formal Learning Experience

CTPGE students (l to r): Anna Facchetti, Anqi Fu, Pureum Jeon, and Hajeong Sim; Anna and Anqi are UW-Madison graduate students.

CTPGE students (l to r): Anna Facchetti, Anqi Fu, Pureum Jeon, and Hajeong Sim;
Anna and Anqi are UW-Madison graduate students.

Last fall, I blogged about our partnership with Promega-Hannam BTCI at Hannam University in Daejeon, Korea , providing an overview of the ways in which we have collaborated over the years.

This year, 2016,  included the participation of two Hannam students, Pureum Jeon and Hajeong Sim, in one of our advanced courses, Core Techniques in Protein and Genetic Engineering (CTPGE), which offers graduate credits through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. UW-Madison is a bustling campus with a large international student, staff and faculty population, and Promega Corporation is a global company with a diverse workforce that brings a steady stream of international visitors to its main campus in Fitchburg. My sense is that sometimes those of us who live and work in environments like this, who also regularly tap into global news, can lose touch with what it’s like to leave home and travel to a completely new place, perhaps somewhere far away where the language spoken is not your own.

Our experience with Pureum and Hajeong this summer was a reminder of how important these experiences can be for those who make these journeys. Their participation in the course provided them with valuable training, but the small things, like walking around the UW campus, having dinner with one of us, driving through rural Wisconsin and feeling welcomed at the hotel, also meant so much.

In their own words, here are a few of their thoughts: Continue reading

Summer in the Institute: A Photographic Journey

We’ve been enjoying a busy summer at the BTC Institute, and we’ve done our best to provide high quality educational experiences for everyone from third graders, to graduate students and post-docs, to seasoned high school teachers. To close our summer, on August 25th, we’ll be hosting the University of Wisconsin-Madison Neuroscience Research Symposium, in partnership with the Neuroscience Training Program.

Read about all of the exciting learning that went on at BTC Institute this summer, enjoy the pictures, and start planning for the summer of 2017!

A Celebration of Life XXI: Summer Science Programs

These programs,which are offered every summer for elementary (3-5th graders) and middle school (6-8th graders) students, are created in partnership with the African American Ethnic Academy and with grant support from the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium/NASA. This year the elementary program served 15 students and the middle school program 17 students.

Instructional methods emphasize active learning around planet earth and the solar system. Hands-on laboratory activities related to planets, gravity, requirements for living systems. Students participated in outside activities and a field trip to the Milwaukee Museum. They studied current NASA projects related to planetary science, including the search for life and water on other planets. They also learned about historic and contemporary African American STEM professionals, including those affiliated with NASA, and they explored planetary science careers. Each session closed with students sharing their work with family members and friends, followed by informal conversations over lunch.

 

 

29981307-BTCI-Summer-Celebration-1-WEB Continue reading

Announcing the 2016 International Forum on Consciousness

forum image

Examine how businesses are evolving and changing the way we think about the world around us at the 2016 International Forum on Consciousness. This year’s theme, Awakened Consciousness and the Evolution of Business, brings together a diverse group of presenters including Chip Conley (Airbnb), Martin Kalungu-Banda (Presencing Institute), Gunnar Lovelac, John Roulac (Nutiva Corporation),  Mike Mears (Mears Consulting), Betsy Myers (Center for Women & Business) and Raj Sisodia, Ph.D. (Conscious Capitalism Inc.), among others. The forum will be held May 5–6, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin. An event schedule, presenter biographies and presentation abstracts are available at https://www.btci.org/.

Each year, the International Forum on Consciousness explores a different—and often challenging—topic related to the exploration of consciousness. Awakened Consciousness and the Evolution of Business is an invitation to envision businesses of the 21st century. The 2016 forum will showcase how today’s business leaders are enriching employees, communities and the health of our planet. Key questions to be addressed include:

  • How have business practices historically shaped society?
  • What does it mean to awaken to the potential for workplace and broader business practices to transform our view of self, others and society—to focus on purpose and meaning through the work we do?
  • What work-based opportunities for personal and professional development contribute most effectively to this shift?
  • How does the self-actualized business become a model and advocate for change?

The forum is co-hosted by the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute) and Promega Corporation, who are also Platinum sponsors along with Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP, Perkins Coie, Thrive Market and Usona Institute.

Held at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center on the Promega Campus (5445 East Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711), the International Forum on Consciousness is open to the general public but limited to 350 participants. Forum registrants have the opportunity to join a presenter for a small group discussion over dinner on Thursday evening, May 5. Registration is now open. For more information or to register, visit: https://www.btci.org/.

Announcing: Stem Cells in the 4th Dimension—Mechanisms of Stem Cell Aging and Maturation

Image courtesy of Carlos Marti-Figueroa, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Image courtesy of Carlos Marti-Figueroa, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin, Madison

On April 13th, the BTC Institute and Promega Corporation will host the 11th Annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium — Stem Cells in the 4th Dimension: Mechanisms of Stem Cell Aging and Maturation.

Our co-coordinators at the UW-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center have put together an outstanding list of presenters, including leading researchers who are investigating the effects of aging on stem cell populations and their progeny and recapitulating aging mechanisms in vitro to mature human stem cell derivatives and transplants.

The morning session will review systemic and cell autonomous factors known to impact stem cell maturation, aging and senescence. The afternoon session will focus on using these approaches and understanding to develop in vitro models of matured, stem cell-derived neural, cardiac, and pancreatic cells and tissues for regenerative medicine applications.

HIGHLIGHTED ISSUES:

  • Endocrine, micro-RNA, epigenetic, and metabolic regulators of aging
  • Systemic regulators elucidated by parabiosis
  • Treatment of age-related stem cell dysfunction
  • In vivo and in vitro models of neural, musculoskeletal, cardiac, and pancreatic tissue maturation

Continue reading

Summer 2016: Exciting Science Programs for Kids at the BTC Institute!

First, a quick update: Hard to believe, but we’re in our 21st academic year at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute).  February finds us immersed in our usual second semester offerings.  Our Biotechnology Field Trips program is on the way to record attendance, but it’s not too late for you to schedule a visit for this spring, or for a group this summer: btci blog photo 2http://www.btci.org/k12/bft/bft.html.

We’re also pleased to report that work site mentors have been found for almost all of the juniors and seniors enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology – Dane County (http://www.btci.org/k12/yap/yap.html).

Now, let’s turn our attention to Summer 2016.  We’re excited to once again offer great opportunities for upper elementary, middle and high school students to engage in activities that will allow them to explore their interests in the life sciences – and to learn a lot along the way. And, it’s not too soon to think about summer! Here’s a rundown of what’s in store: Continue reading

Welcome to Your Biotechnology Field Trip at the BTC Institute!

Kaukauna High School students arrive at the BTC for a biotechnology fieldtrip.

Kaukauna High School students arrive at the BTC for a biotechnology fieldtrip.

BTCI provides our students an opportunity that they could never get in the classroom.
—Jim Geoffrey, Biology Teacher, Kaukauna High School

Your bus has arrived and parked in the circular driveway at the front of the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center on the Promega Corporation campus in Fitchburg, WI. Your BTC Institute hosts – and instructors – for your field trip are Barbara Bielec (K-12 Program Director) and Ryan Olson (Biotechnology Instructor). They’ll greet you in the Atrium and direct you to a conference room where you can leave coats and backpacks, and then to the lab you’ll be working in during your visit.

Here’s a taste of what happened next for students from Random Lake High School and Wonewoc High School on December 3rd, and from Kaukauna High School on December 4th. Continue reading

Support Young Scientists: Mentors Needed for Dane County Biotechnology Youth Apprentices

I moved back to Madison from the east coast last September and I have to say it’s been really great being back in the Midwest… the Youth Apprenticeship Program opened doors to opportunities for me that may never have existed if I had not participated in the program. It established the foundation of my entire resume throughout college, which was crucial to the genetic counseling application process. — Kristin Gunderson, Genetic Counselor, Carbone Cancer Center (Kristin worked in the lab of Dr. Deane Mosher, UW School of Medicine Public Health, under the mentorship of Dr. Bianca Tomasini-Johannson and is a 2006 high school graduate.)

Yang Chen, 2015 graduate, at her worksite in the lab of Dr. Xuehua Zhong, UW-Madison Department of Genetics; mentor: Dean Sanders. Yang is currently a freshman at UW-Madison, majoring in microbiology.

Yang Chen, 2015 graduate, at her worksite in the lab of Dr. Xuehua Zhong, UW-Madison Department of Genetics; mentor: Dean Sanders. Yang is currently a freshman at UW-Madison, majoring in microbiology.

OK, we are not going to be shy about it: We need any assistance our readers may be able to provide to help us find additional mentors for high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in the Dane County Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology.

The good news is that there are 32 students who have elected to participate in the program, given their strong interests in the life sciences and in particular, biotechnology. They represent 14 public high schools in the area. They (1) complete all necessary classes for graduation; (2) attend a hour-hour intensive laboratory course at the BTC Institute from 4:30–8:30pm on Wednesdays; and, (3) work in laboratory settings throughout the community.  (For details, please visit: http://www.btci.org/k12/yap/yap.html) Continue reading

Exciting Times for Biotechnology at Promega-Hannam BTCI

btci_hannam_3For ten years, the BTC Institute has been partnering with an innovative center at Hannam University in Daejeon, Korea: Promega-Hannam – BTCI (PH-BTCI; website (in Korean). Our K-12 programs have served as models for activities that are developed to fit the Korean educational system, which does not typically include off-site field trips, for example, during the regular school day. Continue reading