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Improv(e) Science Newsletter

Performance, Science and Science Education

Holmes, Founder of improvscienceA quarter since our first newsletter, I am excited to have more to share with you on the work of improvscience and others pioneering performance and improvisation in science.
We continue to feature work broadly cast as  creative teaching, communicating science, performing science (doing research), and being developmental scientists. When you see the word science, think broadly science, technology education and mathematics (STEM). And when you see performance, think culture, daily creativity, theater, and improvisation. 
We look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Warm regards,
Raquell M. Holmes, Ph.D.

Creative Teaching

Creative Teaching iconChemistry meets dance in Jane Burke's story in Edutopia. The exploration of experiential learning and arts in science education is opening ways for students to relate to and learn science. Burke shares the journal entries and thoughts of the students who participated in learning and teaching chemistry with more.

Communicating Science

Alan Alda Workshop VideoCommunicating Science with Alan Alda Group at AAAS. Improvisation and communicating science is being writ large at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting 2014 in Chicago. Alan Alda, formerly known to many as Hawkeye of the TV series MASH and now known for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, will keynote the conference whose theme is Discovery and more

Dr. HolmesProfessional presentations: a repeat performance at Harvard Medical School. This half day workshop was piloted last year with the Systems Biology program of Harvard Medical School last year. Mia Anderson, performance director, and myself once again worked with 12 students who recently joined the graduate program. For another group in 2014, we've created a day and half training for senior students heading to the work force. Contact us to schedule a workshop for your students, postdocs or faculty

Performing Science

podcast iconListening to the Science Magazine Science Policy June 21st, 2013 podcast with Janet Rowley, I was excited to hear a nice example of scientific improvisation.  Improvisation is the creation of an unscripted scene by an ensemble of actors. The actors do not know what the story will be at the more

Developmental Scientists

Tom Murphy, improvscience developmental scientistThe Intel Developer Zone has a great colleague in Tom Murphy. Tom Murphy is another one of those I call a “developmental scientist. ” He says in a recent Intel article that he’s good at “forming”. Forming what? Tom’s “out of grade” focus on learning, creating and collaborating with his students is building a zone where young people form their lives and their relationships to computing. This kind of story is the one that makes you want to stand and applaud. And why not? more

improvscience Highlights

ASU Mathematician-scientists at improv for STEM professionalsThis summer (2013), improvscience visited the Joaquin Bustos Mathematics, Science Honors Program and the Mathematical, Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI). Discovering environments where scientists can grow is one of the perks of the job. read more

Tapia, Castillo-Chavez, Giles and HolmesCatalyzing environments for discovery at XSEDE13. In addition to meeting with my Minority Faculty Council colleagues, Richard Tapia, Roscoe Giles and Carlos Castillo Chavez , I had the pleasure of leading students through an improvisation for STEM professionals workshop… read more.

q-bio Logo

Improv for q-bio. q-bio is an annual conference that brings together theoreticians, physicists, mathematicians and biologists to advance predictive modeling of cellular regulation, decision making, formation of response, and other information processing phenomena. They are also building an inclusive and diverse scientific community... read more

Holmes on webinar

An online mentoring webinar is a challenge and an opportunity. I frequently give mentoring workshops for women and minorities in science including this one for the Empowering Leadership Alliance (ELA) hosted by the Richard Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity. Participants and I create a discussion that invites them, graduate students, to pay attention to how they build relationships with the faculty and peers around them…read more.

BU logoBoston University, Bioinformatics invests in creative growth. Thanks to a recommendation and the programs annual retreat, this fall kicked off with an opportunity for me to return home to the Bioinformatics program and the Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole. Both of these research sites have played a role in my own professional development. And it was a great pleasure to be bringing current creativity practices to these research hot spots…read more.

Participants at SC13Broader Engagement at SC13. It was my pleasure to work again with the Broader Engagement program of the SC-conferences. I have been part of building the long and beautiful history of bringing women, underrepresented minorities and faculty new to high performance computing to one of the premiere conferences in the field.  Welcoming them to make the conference their own is one of the perks of my job…read more.

In 2014

performing the world logoAt Performing the World, scientists, educators, health professionals and performance activists gather to share and discover how the understanding and practice of performance informs and transforms their work.  We were there in 2012 and a number of practitioners at the interface of performance, science and science education will be again. Submit a proposal and join us in NYC, Oct 10-12, 2014.  

Richard Tapia imageBuilding a career for you: An improvisational art and practice. February 5-8th, Seattle, WA, I have the honor of leading a career panel with colleagues Stephanie Pulford, Elizabeth Bautista and Luis Melara. We highlight how our ability to improvise is crucial to actively creating careers. The Tapia conference is the place to be to interact with and support diversity in computing. We look forward to seeing you there. Register now.

improvscience logoOur first improvscience volunteer meeting will be January 6, 2014. If you want to learn more about efforts in performance, science and science education and want to share what you learn, join us and see how you can help.
Keep an eye on upcoming events, follow us on twitter/improvscience
Contact for a workshop or development plan for your group.
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