The Fine Print: Notes for Schedulers
Who we see: Georgia State University’s Bio-Bus will bring one teaching module per year to public, parochial, or private K-12 schools or educational groups within an hour’s drive of GSU. We concentrate on grades 4-12; we are particularly interested in going to middle and high schools, whose schedules make off-campus field trips difficult. We require a minimum of 30 students to schedule a visit.
What we teach: Our current teaching modules (one per visit) are: Animal Diversity; Bio-Bus Sampler (summer programs only); Biotechnology: Forensics; Chemistry: Acids, Bases & Indicators; Chemistry: States of Matter; DNA is Elementary; The Heart & Your Health; High School Chemistry: What Does it MATTER?; Medicinal Plants; Microbes & You; StarWars GeoScience; Water in the Environment, and Weather: Class Project. There is extensive information on each module in the Teaching Modules section of our website.
Cost: Bio-Bus visits are at no charge to the schools visited. However, we can accept donations from groups that are able to make them, at a suggested rate of $3 per student.
How to schedule: To arrange a visit with your school or group, please contact the Bio-Bus office by e-mail at [email protected]. When the Bio-Bus calendar is filled, you may have a place on the wait list in case of a cancellation.
Teaching Space & Numbers:
- If we set up in a central classroom, lab, or media center we can see up to 30 students per presentation. We need to set up in one room and have students come to us there. We cannot move from room to room during the day.
- If we use the Bio-Bus, a 30-foot mobile laboratory in a converted RV, it will only accommodate 10-15 visitors (students and adults) at one time. This usually involves splitting the average class of 20-28 students in half. Eight 30–minute presentations allow us to address four classes, or 80 to 110 students a day on the Bus.
Adult Supervision: A responsible adult (teacher, paraprofessional, parent volunteer) should attend each presentation, to help with crowd control. We would like the classroom teacher to attend at least one presentation, to allow for follow-up in the classroom. When we present on the Bio-Bus, this usually requires the school to arrange for someone to cover the other half of the class.
Planning the Schedule at Your School: Our normal hours for seeing students are 9:00 am -2:00 or 3:00 pm, or the end of the school day. (We also need half an hour at your site before and after these times for setting up and packing up.) Please see module descriptions on our web site for the time it takes to present each of our eleven learning modules.
Lunch: If the Bio-Bus Staff is teaching beyond 1:00 pm, please schedule a lunch break for them, preferably 45-60 minutes.
Important – Schedule Confirmation: We must have a copy of your schedule indicating which group will participate with the Bio-Bus, including times and numbers of students (including adults), on file by two weeks before the scheduled Bio-Bus visit. Please email your form to the Bio Bus office (email address above). We reserve the right to cancel the reservation of any group that has not complied with this requirement two weeks in advance of the Bio-Bus visit.
Parking: If we are coming into a classroom, please have a designated parking space for our seven-passenger van, near to where we will off-load equipment. If we are coming to present on the Bio-Bus itself, please plan where you want the 30-foot converted RV to park so that it can be boarded from the rear door safely by visitors. This must be on a hard, level surface, not grass or a slope. Please inform the front office staff where this spot is. (Sometimes, the only appropriate parking space is also the school bus loading zone, which can affect our arrival and departure times.)
Questions? For scheduling and routine questions, you can contact the Bio-Bus office, by e-mail at [email protected], or by telephone at 404- 413-5421.
For more detailed inquiries, contact the Program Director, Dr. Barbara Baumstark, at [email protected] or (404) 413-5304, or the Associate Director, Dr. Chandan Robbins at [email protected] or 404-413-5447.