The numbers are telling: more than 10,735 votes have been cast to determine 2010's ugliest bug since it debuted on Oct. 31. Locked in battle are top contenders, the assassin bug and yellow dragonfly (http://askabiologist.asu.edu/activities/ubc).
Inspiration for the unusual comes easily to Kazilek, a double-ASU alumnus with a bachelor's degree in fine arts and a master of natural sciences degree, an avid photographer and aficionado of microcomputers and microscopy. Kazilek embraces the world, its challenges and puzzles with the same questioning approach as his charges.
Kazilek credits the perplexed public with much of the website's content development. "The Q&A feature has been one of the greatest tools for developing content for Ask A Biologist," he says. "It is our barometer to measure what topics and concepts excite interest, are fresh and intriguing and might be important to add to the website."
Besides showing that science is fun and answering more than 25,000 biology questions from children, teachers and parents in the last decade, Kazilek has also actively pursued building connections with the public he serves. In one year alone, he met face-to-face with 1,600 educators and nearly 1,000 K-12 students in Arizona, Washington, D.C, Indiana, and Texas.
Kazilek has likewise worked to expand his online partnerships, which have broadened his ability to expand online access to science learning. The more than 150 contributors involved in Ask A Biologist, including scientists, artists and experts from ASU and other learning institutions in the United States, such as Harvard and MIT, have grown to embrace the talents of volunteers from Panama, Columbia, India, France, England and Canada. Kazilek has also worked to bring other virtual technologies into K-12 classrooms to expand real-time access o
|Contact: Margaret Coulombe|
Arizona State University