Hello my name is Miguel Jimenez, and this year I will be running my first marathon!
I am so proud and excited to be representing the Museum of Science Traveling Programs at this year’s B.A.A Boston Marathon! Please help me back this critical cause by donating any amount, big or small, towards my goal of $7500!
And if you live or will be in Boston on April 20, I would love to see you along the course! Your cheer and support will help me get to the finish line on Marathon Monday!
My journey to Marathon Monday
My journey to the Boston Marathon starting line began with a visit to a science museum that kick started my passion for science. I believe the Museum of Science Travelling STEM education programs provide this opportunity to many young people who may otherwise never be inspired to pursue a life in science.
Let me tell you how a visit to a museum and continuous exposure to STEM education got me to Marathon Monday:
My mom has been my consistent hero. We moved from Bogota, Colombia to southern California when I was 8 years old, and with my mom’s push I became interested in science at an early age. I remember clearly our trips to LA’s museum of science where my sister and I learned about microbes and petri dishes (check us out in the second photo 15 years ago!!).
Since then, I have been very fortunate to continue to have many inspiring mentors. All their support guided me into a career in science, and taught me how to persevere.
In high school, Mr. Knight sparked my love for the molecular world. In his AP Biology class he showed us incredible videos of the molecular machines that make up our cells and body. These videos, as it turned out, were developed by my future college professor, Robert Lue at Harvard University, as part of his constant effort to bridge the gap between basic science and STEM education. (Check out the video: https://bit.ly/2S96L4J).
As an undergraduate, Prof. Lue’s courses inspired me to pursue science communication and teaching along side basic science research. Through his efforts, I had the opportunity to mentor primary school students at the Harvard-Allston Ed Portal. I remember, even now, the moment one of my students spotted, through a microscope, the living, moving creatures in a drop of water from a puddle. He beamed at this wild micro world with such enthusiasm that I can only image continues to drive his dreams.
As a young scientist, Stuart Schreiber and Damian Young gave me the opportunity to work in their labs and discover the thrill of basic science research in synthetic chemistry. Their mentorship and vision was critical in my decision to pursue the long road of a PhD.
During my PhD, it was my advisor, Virginia Cornish, who taught me to persist through failed experiments and unexpected results. Most of all, she taught me that scientists come come from all walks of life. During that time, with my friends, I had the chance to introduce local NYC students to the world of science through the “PhD for a Day” program we started. I recall how on several occasions, the students faced lit up when they learned that scientist at Columbia University came from South America just like them.
And now as a postdoc with Robert Langer and Giovanni Traverso at MIT, I am pursuing my dreams to apply microbes as therapies to improve human health both on earth and in space! This would not be possible with out the support of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Translational Research Insititute for Space Health. It is their broad vision that has allowed me to continue pursuing STEM communication and education, now as an instructor of an undergraduate seminar on learning to read the primary scientific literature. (Check out my course: https://bit.ly/2OJ2GCa)
And to think that it all started with a visit to a science museum with my mom and sister.
I am proud to run in support of the Museum of Science and the countless lives they have introduced to the thrill of science.
Marathon Monday and the MoS
When I run my thoughts often wander through this incredible string of mentors and opportunities I have been lucky to have. I know that their lessons of perseverance will help push me to the finish line on Marathon Monday.
And I feel even luckier to be running this marathon in the name of the Boston Museum of Science. In my own journey to Marathon Monday, I have seen how pivotal even a single exposure to science in any form can inspire a young student to take on the challenges and rewards of a career of discovery.
Through my own work in science education, I have sought to inspire as many students the same way my mentors inspired me. I cannot think of a better way to continue inspiring young minds than through the support of the Boston Museum of Science’s Travelling Programs.
These programs will bring a glimpse of science to students who might otherwise miss these transformative experiences. Just seeing a scientist with their own background will open countless doors, and even a single look through a microscope can inspire a young mind for a lifetime.
I hope you will join me in donating to this cause!
Donating to the MoS Travelling Programs
Your donations will support and help expand the mission of the Boston Museum of Science and their STEM education Travelling Programs! You can read more about their work here: https://www.mos.org/traveling-programs
Please consider joining me in donating! Every dollar helps.
Give the gift of transportation:
$50 – Provides a tank of gasoline for the small vans which will allow Traveling Programs to drive over 350 miles to serve schools and libraries.
Give the gift of supplies:
$100 – Provides the raw materials for 16 classes (about 4 school visits) to design, create, and test wind turbine blades in an Engineering: Wind Energy Program.
$25 – Provides a dozen wine glasses to smash using resonance and a speaker (no opera singer needed) in a Now Hear This: The Sounds of Science school program.
Give the gift of accessibility:
$500 - Provides full scholarship for a traveling program assembly visit to a school (serves up to 200 people)