Tom and the Perkins Lab Members volunteer time for education and outreach activities for young "scientists" of all ages.  Highlighted are some recent outreach activities.

Gene expressions simulation launched by PhET

The Perkins group collaborated with the PhET team and Prof. Mike Klymkowsky in making the simulation for high school and early undergraduate biology students on gene regulation. A basic learning goal is to explain the basic anatomy of a gene, i.e., that they have a regulatory region, a coding region, and a transcription and translation start and stop markers. A more advance goal is explain the role that probability (stochastic processes) play in gene expression. Our new simulation has already been run/downloaded >100,000 since August 2012 and translated by users into 24 languages as of July 2013.


An interactive optical tweezers simulation for science education

Educational simulations (sims) can be highly engaging and effective tools for helping students learn science and math. However, they must be carefully developed and tested. Since 2002, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado has been working to provide these powerful learning tools to students and teachers worldwide.

Thomas Perkins, et al wrote and presented a paper on the development and use of an interactive optical tweezers simuation for science education. It was presented at the SPIE Conference.

Read the full paper and view the simulation at the Related Links, below.

Related Paper

An interactive optical tweezers simulation for science education, Thomas T. Perkins, Christopher V. Malley, Michael Dubson, Katherine K. Perkins

View Simulation


Tom Perkins answers a question by demonstration.

The Perkins Group as Science Wizards, May 2011

The Perkins Group demonstrated their science during the monthly CU Wizards show in May 2011.  This was the second time the group had participated in this science outreach project, which is held on the University of Colorado's Boulder campus. The CU Wizards program engages children in the 5th - 9th grades in the wonders of science.

CU Wizards Show, May 2009

Perkins Laboratory members were science "Wizards" in May 2009, bringing their unique research interests to an audience of young minds.  The CU Wizards program describes itself as:

Now in its 34th year, CU Wizards is happy to explore the exciting worlds of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and more!

Free to the public, our monthly shows entertain and inform children aboutthe wonders of science.  Shows are one Saturday morning a month and provide a perfect start to a fun-filled weekend.  Although all ages are always welcome, the shows are geared toward children and young adults in grades 5-9.  Chief Wizard Professor David Nesbitt and all of the Wizards look forward to seeing you there!