Science through the eyes of the students


The environmental science teacher, Ms. Baker, led 22 environmental science students from WHS on Thursday, February 27, to the Museum of Science in Boston. Ginkgo Bioworks had given the WHS students the opportunity to get involved with their BioBuilder network. The students participated in hands-on activities, took part in lectures, and were challenged to think outside of the box with the help from BioBuilder employees working in the museum. 

BioBuilder uses synthetic biology to engineer living cells in order to shape the way humans live. According to the company, cells are being trained to treat diseases, take carbon out of the atmosphere, and even produce certain types of drugs. This is possible because synthetic biologists use copied DNA strands from organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, and use it to alter the sequences.

The students learned about this synthetic process from Natalie Kuldell, instructor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, and founder and president of the BioBuilder Educational Foundation. As Kuldell went through her presentation, the students were able to engage by answering questions along with asking their own. After the presentation students were able to recognize how synthetic biology will impact their future through technology, food, and relationships. This field trip encouraged advocates of environmental science to learn of real world implications of how their studies apply and was a great experience for all.