July 31 - August 2, 2018

Northwestern University, Evanston Campus

Facilitators: Tom Martinez, (Glenbard East High School) & Jessica Stark (Northwestern University)

This three day professional development opportunity is designed to prepare educators to bring biological engineering and synthetic biology into their classrooms and laboratories. The workshop includes:

  • Lectures that connect the engineering/science/math and technology aspects of these fields.
  • Labs and classroom activities taught from the online www.BioBuilder.org resource.
  • Lunchtime discussions with members of the synthetic biology community.
  • Activities that address the nuts and bolts of running an iGEM team.

What is Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biology is an emerging field that applies engineering and mathematical principles to the development of novel biological systems. These principles and technologies extend the teaching of molecular genetic techniques into real world, authentic applications. Examples of synthetic systems include bacteria that smell like bananas, and light-sensitive bacteria that can serve as pixels in a photograph. These teachable systems are included in the curriculum at Biobuilder.org.

Why teach Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic biology provides teachers and students an engineering context to learn molecular biology, genetic engineering and microbiology methods. This approach asks students to learn while designing, or testing designs of, engineered biological systems. In addition, this approach provides science teachers with a means of exploring numerous state and national technology standards that are hard to address in most science classes.

Participants will earn 18 CPDUs.

Student Level: