The Building with Biology project created conversations in museums among scientists and public audiences about the emerging field of synthetic biology and societal implications. Synthetic biology uses new techniques combining biology and engineering to make new or modified living things and materials. The field is exploring where biology-based products might provide solutions to a wide diversity of problems in health, energy, and the environment.
The project community includes informal science educators, researchers, and scientists dedicated to developing innovative resources, practices and processes to build the capacity of the field to use public engagement with science (PES) activities. Project participants work together to extend STEM learning about science, technology, and societal implications through public and scientist dialogue about synthetic biology.
The Building with Biology resource kit was built through a collaboration of informal science education (ISE) institutions and partnering scientists. During the summer of 2016, nearly two hundred (200) sites nationwide received physical kits and participated in Building with Biology events and conversations.
Through their involvement in Building with Biology activities and events, scientists will:
The Building with Biology project team has received supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation to develop a new public forum on human genome editing called Editing our Evolution: Rewriting the Humane Genome.
Additional forum resources
Two-hundred (200) free physical kits have been awarded to successful applicants from informal science education and research institutions. These kits were used in summer 2016 Building with Biology events nationwide. The following organizations received a physical Building with Biology kit.
Building with Biology physical kits included:
The activities, forum, and professional resources are based on prototypes from pilot events and have been revised to incorporate feedback collected though the event evaluation and feedback.
Although the primary aim of this project is to create conversations between scientists and the public at science centers, all of the hands-on activities, forums, and materials produced as part of the project are available online as a digital kit and is free to download. Consider this option if you are affiliated with an organization that does not hold public events, would like to preview the contents, are located outside the United States, or want to create multiple copies of print resources.
Building with Biology physical kit recipients are required to submit an online final event report as part of the project requirements.
The report takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Please note that it is NOT possible to save your work in the SurveyGizmo online form and return for additional edits. Reports left idle too long will go blank when you progress to the next screen, so please plan to complete the online report in one session. You may want to write your responses in the Word document, save, and then cut and paste that information into the online report. A blank version (Word and PDF) have been provided for you below to download.