Experimental kits to facilitate undergraduate teaching of synthetic biology

View all posters

Jarosaw Bryk, John Schollar, Dean Madden

National Centre for Biotechnology Education, United Kingdom

Teaching synthetic biology is challenging. Principal reasons for the lack of established synthetic biology curricula are 1) interdisciplinarity and thus difficulty in application of knowledge from an unfamiliar field as well as in arranging inter–departmental expertise and 2) requirement to select and characterise necessary biological, electronic and digital resources for successful creation of synthetic biology devices. We aim to lower the barrier to entry for teaching synthetic biology by developing and providing experimental kits, BioBuilder–style, that incorporate biological, electronic and digital parts and protocols to allow introduction of the principles and approaches of synthetic biology through student–driven, investigative, open–ended, practical inquiry. In my presentation I will describe the experimental kits we have developed so far and share our experiences from their deployment during two–week long summer course in practical synthetic biology for undergraduates at the University of Reading.