BioBuilder educators, colleagues, and board of directors gathered at the brand new BioBuilder Learning Lab @ Ginkgo to celebrate a decade of shared accomplishments and launch into an exciting future Over the Horizon.
Dr. Natalie Kuldell, BioBuilder’s Founder and Executive Director, reflected on BioBuilder’s first 10 years. “Through in-school and after-school experiences, and our focus on both teachers and students, we have had so many successes.” BioBuilder has reimagined science and engineering education, and brought a life-changing curriculum and programs to teachers and students around the world. Those experiences have impacted the college and career choices of untold numbers of students.
Natalie expressed her thanks to all those who have supported BioBuilder. “We could not have reached this milestone without you, and without you we could not celebrate.”
Rebecca Millman, Chair of the BioBuilder Board of Directors, shared her memories of BioBuilder’s early days. “There was an immediate and tremendous response, indicating the pent-up demand and real need for bioengineering education.” BioBuilder has now reached hundreds of teachers and students in 54 countries and throughout the U.S.
“We went from Natalie setting up meetings with individual school superintendents, to her being asked by national organizations and the federal government to present her point of view on what was needed in education in order to prepare the bioeconomic workforce that will be needed in the future.”
Angela Girodier is a former BioBuilder High School Apprenticeship Challenge participant who is now a senior at Emmanuel College. She plans to teach secondary science so she can help other students get the STEM experience she had and to prosper in the field.
Dr. Barry Canton is the co-founder and CTO of Ginkgo Bioworks, a leading synthetic biology company located in the Boston area. He shared a secret with the audience: in high school he didn’t think biology was “cool” like math and physics were cool, mainly because the curricula were uninspiring. It wasn’t until college that he gained interest in biology, especially when joined with engineering. Dr. Canton thanked Dr. Kuldell “for making biology cool and bringing so many people into synthetic biology at an early age.”
Barry expressed his appreciation that BioBuilder is inspiring students like Girodier and getting them started in bioengineering, noting that the industry needs good scientists and engineers to continue to thrive.