Science Bridge Indonesia


Science Bridge
is a registered society for education and science in Germany (e.V.). Science Bridge Indonesia is a branch in Indonesia in the frame of the IGN Bioscience (Indonesian-German Network).

The aim of Science Bridge is to provide basic understanding of modern biology to children and adults by practical experience.

Molecular biology and biotechnology are important fields for the future of Indonesia. Enhancing insight and interest will contribute to high-tech industry and productivity in the country.

Introduction

Science BridgeBiology is a combination of observing, investigating and applying life sciences. High technology methods from physics, chemistry, mathematics and informatics are being used for basic research and the transfer of these results to applications.

Science Bridge is an educational project in Germany that brings experiments to schools and to the public so that people understand what biology and biotechnology mean for their everyday-life. We can no longer live and grow without sustainable and clever biology and biotechnology!

We want kids and adults to appreciate the importance of bio-science for every-day-life and to understand the basics of the technology. The general public need not become experts in the field – but they will support science they understand its impact.

Indonesia buys technology and technology products from outside. This is not necessary when young people become interested and help to develop technology, to establish Indonesian (!) companies to produce and to develop new products. Interest and understanding are the first steps to enhance a higher level of advanced productivity in Indonesia.

What we eat are products of biologists: by plant and animal breeding we get bigger chili peppers, more rice, fat chicken. Farmers take care that we get enough to eat, scientists improve plants and animals for sustainable food.

Medicine and pharmacy is biology. Understanding how the human body works, is necessary to develop diagnostics and medication to cure diseases.

Clothing (cotton), food processing (Tempeh), energy (bio-gas, bio-diesel), washing powder (enzymes) and many more are products from bio-science.

The biodiversity of Indonesia is not only beautiful – it is also useful. Many medications are hidden in local plants and animals and are known in traditional medicine. To find them, to carefully test them and to make them available to everyone in sufficient quantities is the work of biologist.

Science Bridge Indonesia will develop an outreach program to advertise the fascination and practical importance of bio-science.

 

Implementation

The program has started out with a group of students at Brawijaya University.

We are now developing the projects summarised below.

A more detailed description is given in separate files which also provide updates on project progress.

After pilot experiments, the teaching material will be made available to other IGN members. We will also offer a training course for interested students from IGN partner universities.

 

Funding

In Germany, Science Bridge has worked for 20 years without the need for outside funding. Income for chemicals and equipment was generated by membership fees and by moderate fees that schools pay for courses. In addition, the Department of Genetics provided lab space and infrastructure. Courses were carried out by well-trained volunteer students who received a small compensation for the work. By now, Science Bridge has grown so much that a full-time scientist is required for organisation and further course development. This person is paid by two sponsors from industry.

 

A similar concept could be implemented in Indonesia. We will try to get permanent labspace in the Central Laboratory at Brawijaya University and generate enough income to pay for chemicals and small equipment.

If similar initiatives can be established at other IGN partner universities there will be options to support each other financially and in terms of experiment development.

A network of several universities may also be able to obtain funding from DIKTI and has a much stronger position to ask for funding from outside sponsors.

 

The Science Bridge Network

In Germany, Science Bridge has associated laboratories in Gießen, Marburg and one additional laboratory at a school in Kassel. In addition, we cooperate with several other school laboratories throughout Germany and have lose associations with labs in the Netherlands, the US, France, Great Britain and Italy. We currently are negotiating about a long-term project in Penang, Malaysia and from a different IGN initiative we have started to establish contacts with Vietnam.

Science Bridge Indonesia will substantially profit from the experience gathered by Science Bridge Germany and its network partners.

 

 

1. Plant Growth

The project investigates what promotes and what inhibits the growth of plants.

Scientific methods (how to plan an experiment, observing, measuring, writing a protocol, evaluating data)

Age group:

7 to 13 years

Number of participants:

Class up to 24 pupils

Duration:

One day introduction and setting up the experiment with the Science Bridge Team

Three weeks observation, measurements, writing protocol with teacher

One day data evaluation, discussion of results with teacher and Science Bridge Team.

 

 

2. Antibiotic activity in traditional medicine

The project investigates antibiotic activity in herbal extracts.

Age group:

13 to 18 years

Number of participants:

Class up to 20 pupils

Duration:

One day introduction and setting up the experiment with the Science Bridge Team.

Next day evaluation of results and discussion with teacher and Science Bridge Team.

 

3. Dirty fingers

The project shows that bacteria are everywhere and that washing hands (or brushing teeth) will reduce the number of bacteria.

Age group:

6 to 12 years

Number of participants:

Class up to 20 pupils

Duration:

One day introduction and setting up the experiment with the Science Bridge Team.

Next day evaluation of results and discussion with teacher and Science Bridge Team.

 

4. Further Experiments

SB further experimentsScience Bridge Germany mostly works with experiments in molecular biology. The most common courses are “Genetic Fingerprint”, “Production of ß-galactosidase for lactose-free milk” and “Food-test for meat contents”.

For all experiments, detailed protocols and PowerPoint presentations are available (mostly in German, some in English).

All these experiments require a PCR machine and gel electrophoresis. At this point, Science Bridge Indonesia is not yet strong enough to buy such equipment but it should be feasible within the next two years.

At that point all experiments from Science Bridge Germany can be easily transferred to Indonesia.