We are an open consortium of instructors and students from Wake Forest University dedicated to building, evaluating, and distributing tools that help more students learn successfully. Our goals include making learning more engaging and effective, but also accessible and affordable.
Founder of The ADAPA PROJECT and co-creator of BioBook, Dr. Dan Johnson has spent over 25 years (16 years at Wake Forest University) getting high school and college students excited about biology. Originally trained as a cell biologist studying heart disease, his passion for biology has grown to span molecules to ecosystems. “For me, biology is a rich story full of strange creatures, each with endless interconnections to each other and to the world around us.”
More than a decade ago he asked the question, “why do so many of my students struggle to understand biology?” He soon found the very unsettling answer: “because we are telling the story in the wrong way!” And so began the journey that led eventually to BioBook.
“We know now that students learn more of the story of biology when they have engaging, memorable experiences that show them how to answer questions that are relevant to their own lives. Students also remember what they have learned for longer. We designed and built BioBook as a way to share that philosophy with other teachers who want to help more of their students learn biology successfully.”
Dr. Sabrina Setaro
Dr. Sabrina Setaro is the coordinator and co-developer of BioBook and has been part of the The ADAPA PROJECT since the beginning. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Tuebingen in Germany. Her area of expertise is systematics and ecology of beneficial root fungi in which she has been working for more than 10 years. Sabrina’s keen interest in science education and technology as well as her broad background in computational data analysis are the reasons she joined The ADAPA PROJECT team in 2011.
Her responsibilities range from leaf content development to site management to development of new teaching tools. Sabrina is also a strong advocate for citizen science and initiated the first citizen science project about root fungi (link to site: http://www.citizensort.org/livinglinks/hmc.php).
Dr. Jed Macosko
A lifelong educator and co-creator of BioBook, Dr. Jed Macosko has pioneered new methods of communicating science to young people. Funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, the NC Biotechnology Center, and Carolina Biological has propelled his educational projects to the White House and beyond. He has been the scientific advisor for Hollywood films, videogames, and financial institutions. Recently, CellCraft, the award winning tower-defense game created under his scientific guidance, registered a record-breaking 5 million plays and continues to teach important concepts in cellular biology in a fun and innovative way.
Dr. Macosko, an associate professor of physics at Wake Forest University, holds a chemistry B.S. from MIT and a biophysical chemistry Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He is currently heading The ADAPA PROJECT’s ChemBook initiative. With it, he and his team hope to revitalize the field of chemistry education in the way that BioBook has breathed new life into the life sciences.