Facts About Serendip

Born in 1994

First website on Bryn Mawr College campus

Hosted the Bryn Mawr College website, c. 1995-96

Hosted the College Library's first website

Over 5 million unique visitors in 2013

More than 50,000 pages

Averages more than 20,000 unique visitors per day

More than 99% of its visitors are from off-campus

Home of Center for Science in Society, 2001 - 2010

Hosted College Diversity Conversations, c. 2004-06

Most popular exhibit:
Mind and Body: Rene Descartes to William James
translated into Spanish and Russian

Significant exhibits from the last several years:
Serendip Studio's OneWorld (2014- present)
Serendip's Exchange (2006- present)
Ant Colonies: Social Organization Without a Director (2006)
Exploring Emergence: The World of Langton’s Ant (2005)
Education and Technology: Serendip's Experiences 1994-2004
Thinking About Segregation and Integration(2003)

Hosted the first Bryn Mawr College undergraduate course to welcome alumnae into online discussion with current students (2007)

Notable Annual Milestones:


Serendip is renewed as "Serendip Studio"


Anne Dalke publishes a new major section on Serendip, Digital Humanities.

Alice Lesnick publishes The Breaking Project: Creative Disruptions in Thinking, Writing and Creating.

Serendip loses its friend and visionary co-creator, Paul Grobstein. Friends, family and students tell Stories About Paul on Serendip.


Serendip surpasses 5 million unique visitors in 2010.


Serendip's new materials are now created in a Content Management System (CMS), Drupal, which extends Serendip's interactivity and functionality in significant ways. Almost all pages may be appended with comments from any visitor from the web, and Serendip automatically analyzes its own content and generates related links to relevant material.

Serendip publishes an expanded collection of hands-on activities for teaching biology to middle school or high school students, a project of Dr. Ingrid Waldron, faculty member in the Biology Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and her colleagues. There are now 23 interactive activities, and its home page averages 400 visitors/day. The most popular downloads are currently Is Yeast Alive and Mitosis and Meiosis. The collection is the first search result in Google for the terms, teaching biology.

Serendip offers blog technology to K-12 teachers attending summer institutes.

Serendip hosts the first Bryn Mawr College undergraduate course to welcome alumnae into online discussion with current students and Anne Dalke.

2006: Serendip surpasses 3 million unique visitors in 2006.

Serendip becomes yet more expansive in its outreach, publishing articles by and conversations with scholars in art history, psychoanalysis, philosophy of science, writing, geology and philosophy, among others. Interacting with and publishing Serendip readers' stories grows, and storytelling across the humanities and sciences, as well as storytelling as a biological process is a major focus.

Getting it Less Wrong evolves, and is quoted in the New York Times, among other places on the web.

Serendip continues to develop partnerships with two arts organizations, the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Among several Wilma productions, Serendip offers an online forum for Brecht's The Life of Galileo, and Paul Grobstein is a panelist in a Wilma discussion series centered around the play.

2005: Serendip partners with Alice Lesnick (Education) at Bryn Mawr College to publish an online book developed in an undergraduate Education course, Empowering Learners: A Handbook for the Theory and Practice of Extra-Classroom Teaching.

A sampling of university courses around the world which use Serendip materials is compiled.

Serendip surpasses 2 million unique visitors in 2005.

2004: Serendip hosts The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories: Exploring the Significance of Diversity, an undergraduate course taught by Anne Dalke (English) and Paul Grobstein (Biology) at Bryn Mawr College, the first undergraduate course that we are aware of that could be taken for English or Biology credit.

Serendip publishes Writing Descartes: I Am, and I Can Think, Therefore ... , an essay by Paul Grobstein and an ongoing experiment in story sharing and story evolution among many colleagues.

Serendip surpasses 1 million unique visitors in 2004.

2003: Serendip's Home Page changes to suggest different ways to navigate through Serendip's more than 10,000 pages in a non-hierarchical fashion.

In teacher workshops, Philadelphia-area teachers were encouraged to create their own web pages in the "experimental sandbox," using wiki technology.

Serendip partners with Ray McDermott (Stanford) and Herve Varenne (Columbia) to publish an online version of Culture as Disability supplemented by online discussion.


maria dudlar's picture

copyright law

If a high school instructor were to use a worksheet downloaded from your website, and the students were told to follow the directions, then create a display in the classroom or make an oral presentation to the class, would any Internet copyright laws have been broken?

Ann Dixon's picture

welcome, high school teachers!

Thanks for visiting Serendip. We welcome teachers using our materials, and we also welcome feedback and comments about what worked and what could be improved. If you have a photo of the classroom display, we would love to see it too.



Ann Dixon's picture

citing Serendip

If there is no author attribution on the page you want to cite, you may use the URL and Bryn Mawr College. Thanks for writing in!
Francisco Franco's picture


If i wanted to cite this website as one of my resources, who would i claim to be the author or corporate author of this website?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Citing Serendip

As there seem no author citing Serindip as APA style has to be ;
Serendip. (1996). Brain and behavior, complex systems, genes and behavior, science and culture, science education, art exhibitions. Retrieved June 4 2011, from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/. Last Modified: Monday, 30-Aug-2010 07:58:00. (Last modified is optional as it is not mentioned in APA STyle 6)

Alex Marriggi's picture

how to cite this in MLA

how to cite this in MLA format?

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