High school students around the globe have been eagerly awaiting the opening of registration for the 11th BioBuilderClub season. BioBuilder’s challenge to students and teachers is, “All you need is a good idea…and we’ll teach you the engineering to bring it to life.”
The teams are from 26 high schools in four countries:
The U.S. teams are coast-to-coast in Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine, Kansas, and Michigan.
This year’s teams will use synthetic biology to address needs in the environment, health, medicine, food, and biomanufacturing. Check out the BioBuilderClub Project Library that documents some of the projects tackled by previous BioBuilderClub teams.
BioBuilderClub helps students take their biotechnology ideas through the design, build, and test cycle—allowing teams significant flexibility to adapt the scope of their project to fit their needs and resources.
Each team receives professional-grade tools to help them conduct their work, including:
They also enjoy 10 hours of mentoring from a practicing bioengineer, access to the group’s Slack channel to communicate with other teams and mentors, and virtual attendance at a career talk by a biotech industry leader. Local or visiting teams can also visit the BioBuilder Learning Lab@Ginkgo.
The teams also have the opportunity to submit their work to the peer-reviewed high school synthetic biology journal BioTreks journal for potential publishing in the 2024 edition.
It’s no wonder that teachers also love the BioBuilderClub program. The excitement and growth they see in their students keeps them encouraging new teams each year.
Chloe Franklin, BioBuilder’s National Program Coordinator, joined the team in April 2023. And boy, has she been getting things done!
Chloe helps run programs such as BioBuilderClub, Teacher Professional Development workshops, the Summer Research Program, and more. She recruits and registers students and educators for the programs and provides ongoing support to them.
Now that the 2023-2024 BioBuilderClub season is underway, she’s excited to be engaging with the teams on Slack and prompting discussions among students, educators, and mentors.
“I love talking to teachers and students from all over about our shared passion for synthetic biology education.”
With her background in biology, development neurobiology, and secondary science education, BioBuilder’s mission and approach resonate with Chloe. She appreciates educational programming that gives students access to authentic tools and approaches for learning science.
“I’ve long been passionate about synthetic biology, so I knew that I wanted to work for BioBuilder.”
Chloe recognizes the importance of the flexibility of BioBuilder programs which provides many ways for students and educators to get involved. She also appreciates how the affordability of the programs helps make synthetic biology education more accessible.
Chloe enjoys seeing and encouraging the students’ passion for research. “I love to hear students’ ideas and see them take the lead in programs like BioBuilderClub.” She sees students being strong leaders and doing impressive work, and she looks forward to seeing the things they accomplish in the future!
Thanks, Chloe, for your passion and commitment!