Every year as part of ASM Microbe, our annual meeting, ASM organizes numerous public engagement activities. These events provide attendees with opportunities to participate in public-facing interactions that bring science outside of the meeting confines. Members of the local community in which Microbe takes place get the chance to meet with scientists and discuss their interests, concerns and questions.
ASM Microbe 2022
“Meet the Microbes”
Held at the Petworth branch of the D.C. Public Library on June 8, this event featured hands-on science art activities aimed primarily at K-12 students. One set of activities allowed attendees to make their own Agar Art hand print, using pre-poured plates provided gratis by Hardy Diagnostics. This activity, along with the supplies, were arranged almost entirely by ASM member Tasha Sturm. The event also featured an agar art drawing station that was presented by Edvotek. Overall, the event had 30-40 attendees, mostly parents who brought their kids directly after school got out. Activities were staffed by local ASM volunteers, who were recruited through the ASM public engagement network and local ASM chapters. A special volunteer was Maryland Branch President Jennifer Kerr, who ended up taking all of the plates to incubate at her own lab and then photographing the finished products.
“Keep Moving with Microbes”
ASM partnered with our colleagues at Dance Exchange to host a Moving Farm Tour on June 10 at ECO City Farms, located in Bladensburg, MD. Dance Exchange and ECO City staff designed and led the activities. The event was held solely for ASM members attending Microbe. The event began with a dance performance by Dance Exchange dancers, followed by an interactive discussion amongst participants held in a large circle. Attendees then split into two groups to take part in separate activities. In one, dancers and farm staff led attendees through a hands-on exploration of the process of dirt production used on the farm. In the other, attendees were led through a series of interactive movements that incorporated the farm space and products. Finally, the group came back together and shared out what they had learned and experienced.
“Agar Art on Display”
Held at the Marriott Marquis hotel on June 12, the event featured museum-sized prints from past Agar Art Contest winners, along with special light box displays that were provided by ASM member Diane Flayhart from the AMR Fighter Coalition. Approximately 100 people attended the event, which featured informal discussions along with a moderated Q&A with the artists themselves. Artwork displyed included:
- "The Battle of Winter and Spring" by Ana Tsitsishvili
- "My Yellow Vision" by Bornali Bhattacharjee
- "NYC Biome Map" by Christine Marizzi*
- "50 Shades of AMR" by Luis Mota-Bravo, Amara Thind, Nicholas Ramirez, Betsy Juarez and Michelle Kalu
- "Seemingly Simple Elegance" by Arwa Hadid*
- "The Sitting President" by Daniel Pham
- "Sustenance" by Mehmet Berkmen* and Maria Peñil Cobo
- "Ode to Kate Rubins" by Sarah Adkins-Jablonsky
- "Hand Print" by Tasha Sturm*
- "A Microbial Aquarium" by Yujia Feng*
* indicates artist was present at the event