The MIT BioMaker Group holds student workshops every IAP. From working in a lab for the first time to creating your own project, our workshops are open to all students interested in exploring biology. Here are some of our previous classes:
Bacterial Photography Workshop
Biology can be designed and engineered! Synthetic biology is a field that uses genetic engineering techniques and rational design to create novel biological systems for a range of applications. In this workshop, you will explore a bacterial photography system in which an engineered strain of E. coli responds to red, green, and blue light by producing pigments that dye the agar in a petri dish with the corresponding colors. You will briefly examine the system design and then dig in to get hands-on experience in the BioMaker Space wet lab. No biological laboratory experience necessary! To conclude, you will put a plate of your engineered bacteria in a special photograph developing incubator with a built-in projector to create a bacterial print of your favorite image!
Can you grow a robot? Why not!?! In this project you will try making a living, growing, moving “robot” actuated by lab-grown, muscle cells. Living machines leverage the world’s most advanced technology – biology – to create devices that not only better model and integrate with existing biology, but could also transform other areas of technology to become self-assembling, self-healing, and more. In this project, you will explore the exciting fields of biofabrication, tissue engineering, and genetic engineering. Your end result, rings of muscle tissue grown in the lab and hooked up to small, mechanical actuators. The muscle cells are engineered so that their contraction can be controlled by pulses of light. Biobot 1.0!
Community Project Workshop
Join other self-motivated students with a love for biology and maker-culture for our 4-week IAP BioMaker Community Project Workshop! This is a project-based research workshop conducted in MIT’s new Huang-Hobbs BioMaker Space. Students will work together to initiate the first batch of BioMaker Community Projects, which were sourced from MIT labs and currently include honey-microneedle fabrication to engineering synthetic cell-swarming behavior. These projects already have momentum, but need to be adapted and brought in-house so that our community can continue to build the projects over the following semesters. The primary goal of this class is to equip students from different courses or interests with the fundamental laboratory skills needed to develop and debut BL2 “Community Projects” that will be open to community involvement, and nucleate a core group of passionate BioMakers who will continue to be involved in these projects and the creation of new ones. Enrollment is limited and preference will be given to people who signed up first and show deep interest in continuing the project following IAP. No lab experience required.
BioMaker Space Project Idea Development
Come to an office hours style activity and discuss potential concepts for your own independent research project in the BioMaker Space. Interact with other Biomakers in the community and get the creative juices flowing. Support will be available to develop an application for funding through the MIT Sandbox program (which is offering a special deadline exemption for projects relating to the BioMaker Space)!