BioBits — Synthetic Biology for K-12

This is the coolest thing about STEM education I’ve read in a while. A large team of researchers from Wyss, MIT, and Northwestern have figured out how to use freeze-dried cell parts (which in itself is a super cool technology) to create synthetic biology experiments for K-12 that can be stored on a shelf at room temperature for a year or more.

Freeze-dried, cell-free schema (

By biology standards (teachers let us know what you think!), the experiments are super cheap–running <$100 for the full set up (with incubators and imaging devices) for a classroom of 30. They are also super pretty: 

They can also smell good, apparently. Incorporating the ideas of design and manipulation, these little experiments really get to the heart of what is cool about synthetic biology. The papers even include sample curricula developed by teachers at Chicago public schools!