The countdown to the New Year has begun! As we look back on 2023, we are reminded of the great things that have happened at BioBuilder and for those we serve.
Beyond the thousands of students who are doing BioBuilder curriculum in their classrooms, BioBuilder-led programs directly trained more than 800 students in 2023. They came from across the globe, including:
2023 was the 10th anniversary of BioBuilderClub, a program that has introduced collaborative biodesign and project development to students worldwide.
To date, BioBuilderClub has been enjoyed by 2,224 students from six countries and 25 U.S. states.
Alumnus Veni Dole, who is currently studying chemical engineering at Columbia University, reflects on her experience:
Science teachers have been busy advancing their bioengineering capabilities through BioBuilder.
In 2023, BioBuilder directly trained high school and college teachers from six states using our Teacher Professional Development workshops.
Two BioBuilder-trained teachers were honored in 2023 with awards recognizing their skills and commitment to students.
Rebekah Ravgiala, teacher at Tyngsborough High School in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, was named the 2023 MassBioEd Champion for Biotechnology Education. In addition, Rebekah’s high school received the Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year Award, including a grant to conduct student-led research on bioengineering lavender essential oil as a mosquito repellent.
Evie LaFollette, teacher at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee, received the Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award from the National Science Teaching Association.
The award recognizes K-12 science teachers who successfully use innovation and excellence in their classrooms. Evie is a long-time advocate for sharing BioBuilder with more teachers and students, and she does so by leading teacher workshops to train teachers across Tennessee on how to implement bioengineering at their high schools.
BioBuilder works hard to have a positive impact in their Massachusetts community and others across the U.S. and around the globe.
Locally, in 2023, BioBuilder directly provided:
This included our 2023 summer research students – 24 students from nine states! These fantastic young scientists will take their synthetic biology enthusiasm back home and start the bioengineering buzz in those communities!
The 2023 BioBuilderClub Final Assembly was headquartered at the Learning Lab@Ginkgo but was not limited to that location! This year’s 30 BioBuilderClub teams attended in-person and online to present short talks and scientific posters about their research and to network. The event was attended by more than 100 scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, students, and families at locations around the world. It was truly amazing!
This year, BioBuilder continued to receive phenomenal support from our “partners in the bioeconomy.” Here are a few mentions, and so much more great teamwork is happening!
More than 100 employees from Ginkgo Bioworks participated in our “BioBuilder For Ginkgo Professionals” workshop this year. Participants expanded on their skills in a multi-day program in the classroom and laboratory, gaining in-depth synthetic biology skills and knowledge that translate to the workplace.
December 17th was a fun day for the 40+ BioBuilder alumni who gathered at the Learning Lab@Ginkgo! The year-end alumni gathering allowed students to reconnect with fellow alums and teachers, as well as BioBuilder staff and Board members. It was a great way to discover what everyone is up to and have fun!
But the in-person gathering is just one way to stay connected. Did you know there is a BioBuilder Alumni Network group on LinkedIn? That’s the place to gather year-round to chat, catch up, share ideas, and learn about events and opportunities.
If you are a former student, join us on LinkedIn – we’ll be so happy to see you!