Growing Designs with biomakerlab in High School Classrooms
We report on the development and implementation of biomakerlab, a wetlab starter kit for synthetic biology activities in K-12. In synthetic biology, participants make their own DNA—gene by gene—and then grow their designs into real applications by inserting them into microorganisms to develop different traits and characteristics provided by the genes. High school students worked with biomakerlab to make logo designs using microorganisms they manipulated to produce differently colored pigments. Our analysis focuses on student engagement with production activities and design challenges in biomaking. In the discussion, we address differences and overlaps between traditional maker activities and biomaker activities for education.