Project Bridge is an umbrella organization whose main mission is to encourage public interest and engagement in science. Project Bridge was established at Johns Hopkins in 2013 by Daniel Pham (JHU Neuroscience, 2017), Naoko Kozuki (Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2015) and Molly Needelman (MICA/JHU Carey Business School, 2014). In March 2017, Project Bridge founded a chapter at the University of Colorado, Denver. Project Bridge is currently seeking additional partnerships with other institutions to help them begin their own chapters.
At Johns Hopkins, Project Bridge is made up of nine committees which train scientists to efficiently and effectively explain their science to the general public, inspire the next generation of scientists, and foster personal interactions between scientists and non-scientist members of our communities.
In 2019, Project Bridge was awarded the Next Generation Award from the Society for Neuroscience. The Next Generation Award recognizes SfN chapter members who have made outstanding contributions to public communication, outreach, and education about neuroscience.
Science Outside the Lines (SOTL): SOTL visits 3rd and 4th grade students at Henderson-Hopkins elementary school each week to explore the inherent similarities between the arts and sciences. By working with SOTL’s community partner, Art with a Heart (artwithaheart.net), volunteers supplement both the students’ art and science curriculums in a stress-free, after-school environment.
Science Communication Committee: The Science Communication Committee aims: 1) to train scientists to explain their work to a general audience, and 2) to find new and better ways to present scientific information to the public. The Science Communication Committee does this in a variety of ways, including holding communication workshops with established science authors and policy-makers in a community lab space run by the Baltimore Underground Science Space. The committee also organizes Science Slams, where a series of participants each has 5 minutes to explain their research to an audience of non-scientists.
Science at the Market: Science at the Market is a monthly event held at the 32nd Street Farmer’s Market on the last Saturday of the month. Volunteers host engaging and fun experiments centered around a theme for both kids and adults to enjoy and learn together.
Brain Connect: Brain Connect began as an effort to educate and engage the Baltimore Community during Brain Awareness week. Each year in March, Project Bridge volunteers visit Baltimore city schools and teach a short lesson about the structure and function of the brain and how we (with our brains) can control our emotions and reduce feelings of stress.
Baltimore Brain Fest: Baltimore Brain Fest is the culminating event for Brain Awareness Week. Community partners, Johns Hopkins affiliates, and Project Bridge volunteers come together to host a free-to-the-public, all-day event filled with fun experiments, games, crafts, and other activities to learn about the brain. brainfest.org
Science Gong Show: The Science Gong Show is a science communication event held at Charm City Meadworks where scientists give brief explanations of their research without using any jargon. Each time a scientist uses jargon, audience members “gong” the speaker with provided cowbells which forces the scientist to re-describe their research in more understandable terms.
Science Café: The Baltimore Science Café brings local scientists to venues all across the Baltimore community for casual conversations about their research. Researchers briefly present their work using only a whiteboard followed by a Q&A with the audience.
MD DNA Day: MD DNA Day is an annual program when graduate students and scientists travel to Baltimore and Maryland high school science classrooms to present engaging, hands-on modules covering topics related to genetics and genomics. MD DNA Day operates in collaboration with the NIH DNA Day initiative that commemorates the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA and the completion of the human genome project every year in late April.
Girl’s Coding Club: Girls' Coding Club provides coding activities to middle school girls at the Midtown Academy to excite them about computer science and STEM careers. Every other Monday, volunteers teach an hour-long project focusing on the basics of programming, computer science, and engineering. probridge.org