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Auburn H.S. science teacher helps University of Rochester's iGEM team develop synthetic biology curriculum for H.S. students

by Emily Schiller, Team Leader of the University of Rochester's iGEM Team

(June 10, 2020)

When our team members reflected back on our own high school education, we found ourselves wishing that we had learned more about synthetic biology. We’ve made it our goal to expand the science resources available to high school science teachers in order to inspire the next generation of scientists and synthetic biologists. But we knew that we couldn’t do it alone and that we would need the help of passionate science teachers from nearby schools.

University of Rochester Noyce Master Teaching Fellow and Auburn H.S. AP Biology teacher Mr. Crawford graciously offered to meet with our team to discuss ways to teach high school students about synthetic biology, a rapidly growing field in biological and medical research. During our Zoom call on June 8th, Mr. Crawford expressed how learning about synthetic biology in AP biology and living environment can get students excited about the biological applications of what they are learning in the classroom. He also gave the team ideas about how to create material that is easy for high school teachers to integrate into their biology curriculum. Our team appreciates Mr. Crawford sharing his expertise with us. We look forward to working with Mr. Crawford this summer as he will be giving the team valuable feedback on the synthetic biology materials that we create!

The University of Rochester iGEM (international Genetic Engineered Machines) Competition team is a group of 12 undergraduates who solve real world problems using synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a field of science which redesigns and engineers existing biological parts (i.e. DNA sequences, enzymes, gene pathways, and much more) to give new functions to an organism which, overall, would benefit society in one way or another.

To learn more about the iGEM Competition, visit:

To learn more about University of Rochester’s iGEM Team, visit:
Superintendent: Jeffrey Pirozzolo
Phone: 315.255.8800
Address: 78 Thornton Avenue | Auburn, NY 13021