Back in the early days, in 1989-1991, I had the pleasure of working in BioQUEST with the brilliant, wonderful and irrepressible Patti Soderberg. BioQUEST was a small operation, Patti and I wore more hats than I can count, from coffee maker to workshop facilitator. On the fateful day that we needed to come up with an official titles to satisfy some long forgotten piece of official business, we decided that we each wanted our title to be BioQUEST Co-Empress. And so we decreed.
Those were exciting days, BioQUEST was small, computers were huge, and simulations were rudimentary. Nils Pearson developed a hypercard stack—a series of digital pages (black and white, of course) that would link from one to another in the order that the user desired! So rather than in a linear fashion, the user could explore according to their own interests! The content was actually pretty sophisticated conceptually, but, well, let’s say the hypercard stack has been surpassed technologically!
But central for me was the incredible mentorship provided me by John Jungck in those years. When I first came to Beloit in 1989 I was barely older than the Beloit College students I was teaching. And John Jungck was an incredible mentor as I sorted out my career paths, professional passions, gifts, talents, and growing edges. I have no question that the following 25 years that I have spent in science education reform pushing for engaged, active, user-directed, constructivist, discovery-oriented science education, (and feel free to add any more adjectives form the last decades of science education reform), I have no doubt that my efforts were fundamentally molded by BioQUEST broadly and John specifically. To John, my deep gratitude.
I came back and rejoined the fold in 2000-2005 and then I was greeted by another great mind and force of spirit in Ethel Stanley. Wow, Ethel taught me a lot about ways to think, move through and be in the world. Another formative relationship. Ethel, you never cease to amaze!
There were many more wonderful and inspiring people who have made up BioQUEST, too many to name. It was always a challenge to describe to people what BioQUEST was, but really it is not complicated. BioQUEST has always been, first and foremost, a community of inspired, passionate, bright people, with creative visions, who are committed to making a difference in science and education. And while substantial “products” have certainly been developed, always the people are where it has started. So, to all the BioQUEST people, long-timers and new, thank-you for carrying on the vision.