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BioBuilder Junior

An engaging opportunity for middle school students to participate in hands-on bioengineering projects that will inspire ongoing interest in STEM

Projects for engineering biology in middle school classrooms

For middle school students and educators ready to explore the world of synthetic biology, we have two labs to get you started, and we’re building more grade-appropriate content that will be available in the months ahead.

To get started:

  • The Eau that Smell lab will show you how to make stinky bacteria start to smell like bananas.
  • The Frankenfood or Golden Rice will allow you to test a yeast that can bake vitamins into bread.
  • The Building with Biology activities will present short outreach materials and conversation starters to engage all stakeholders.

Try some or all!

To Get Started

You'll learn a great deal of science, you’ll consider the connections between engineering and addressing world problems, and you’ll likely have fun in the building process.


EAU That Smell Jr

Through hands-on laboratory work and interactive classroom sessions, you can put our most amazing technology (biology!) to work. After learning some of the tools and techniques for engineering cells, you will build and then measure a synthetic living system. In particular, you will modify a foul-smelling but harmless bacteria to make them look and smell like banana smoothies. You can’t drink these creations but you can use them to start imagining all that’s possible if we apply the living world to solve its problems.


Frankenfood or Golden Rice

Genetically-modified foods are sometimes described as life-saving approaches to malnutrition, and sometimes protested as unnatural and unsafe. In this series of labs, you will work with a genetically modified organism that can be used to bake breads containing a super-dose of Vitamin A.

Looking for more information?