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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus club promotes science in community

    Most students who join campus clubs are looking for other students who share common interests. But one newly formed club is seeking to get students with different educational interests working together.

    The BioTeam club is the undergraduate student wing of BIO5, a department founded after Arizona voters approved a tax increase that gave additional money to schools for the purpose of promoting science education and diversification.

    “”The goal behind BIO5 is to create an infrastructure for economic development,”” said Grace Brown, director of marketing and communications for BIO5 and faculty adviser to the BioTeam club. “”We want to not only be on the leading edge of research with commercial applications, but bring it out of the university and into the private sector.””

    The five in BIO5 refers to the five areas of study the department seeks to promote communications between: medicine, agriculture, plant sciences, engineering and general sciences, according to their Web site.

    Brown said that while integrating ideas and increasing communication between disparate

    The goal behind BIO5 is to create an infrastructure for economic development.

    – Grace Brown,
    director of marketing and communications for BIO5 and faculty adviser to the BioTeam club

    departments like medicine and engineering is a large part of BIO5’s mission, she also stressed the group’s commitment to advancing science and math education throughout the state at all levels.

    “”If Arizona is going to develop into a knowledge-based economy, we need strong science education,”” Brown said. “”Part of that is what we’re doing with BioTeam.””

    Although the club is still waiting for the university to approve its constitution, members have already volunteered their time with last week’s life sciences poster presentation in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    “”Right now, the club is trying to figure out product ideas or research ideas that fit the spirit of BIO5,”” said club president Jeff Secor, a physics senior.

    The club will also be sending members to judge a science fair at Laguna Elementary School, 5001 N. Shannon Road, next week.

    “”I’ve participated in a lot of science fairs growing up, but I’ve never judged one,”” said Rachel Martin, a molecular and cellular biology senior who will be helping judge next week’s fair.

    Martin, like many of the fledgling club’s members, found BioTeam through her adviser after expressing an interest in working in a variety of scientific disciplines, including biotechnology and medicine.

    “”My adviser thought it would be great to get involved with the medical aspects of BIO5,”” said John Jackman, a microbiology sophomore. “”A lot of it involves hands-on work with researches and hopefully I’ll get some lab experience as well.””

    The idea for the undergraduate club came out of the department’s business administration board meeting late last year, Brown said, when a board member suggested a club might be a good way to involve undergraduates.

    “”We knew that involving (undergraduate) students in the mission of BIO5 was really important,”” Brown said. “”We thought a club would be an exciting way to engage students and get them involved in a lot of fun activities.””

    These activities include field trips to various bioresearch installations – including one scheduled next month to the UA’s Controlled Environment Agricultural Center – and guest lecturers from a variety of fields.

    “”We’ve got a lot of energetic students with a variety of backgrounds; everything from engineering to creative writing,”” Brown said. “”And that’s exactly what BIO5 is about; bringing together people from a range of disciplines.””

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