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BioMaker Space Educational Workshop Modules




10: Chemical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

Justin Buck

Faculty email:


Apply by:



Justin Buck, jbuck@mit.edu

Project Description

Objective: Develop workshop suitable for training users of the Huang-Hobbs BioMaker Space and educating them in techniques and engineering concepts relevant for engineering in biological systems. Duration: Fall and/or IAP (September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, flexible) Effort: 80 - 160 total (Typically ~10 hours per week during fall term, optionally up to 40 hr / wk during IAP, flexible) Pay and Administration: Opportunities are listed as UROP and administered through the UROP program under the Experiental Learning Opportunities (ELO) program. Pay is available on an hourly basis at the standard UROP rate (e.g. $13/hr for 2020) Supervisor: Dr. Justin Buck Summary In this project, the UROP will be developing hands-on workshops and educational modules for instruction in the Huang-Hobbs BioMaker Space. The purpose of the workshops is to expose attendees to new and exciting topics while providing hands-on training in a range of new skills. Deliverables / Work Products The final deliverable will the materials for hosting the workshop. This includes a set of materials for the attendees, and a set of materials for the instructor. Attendee materials should include a section for relevant background material and underlying principles being taught in the workshop as well as a detailed protocol for the attendee to follow during the workshop. The instructor materials should further include protocols and timelines for setup for the workshop, and key teaching points for the actual workshop. Both sets of materials should include safety training and notes relevant to the workshop. The materials should include references to source materials used in developing the workshop. There is a possibility to draft a publication targeted at an educational journal on the workshop developed. Role & Responsibilities This UROP will be performed remotely. Should the opportunity become available to test procedures in the laboratory, this extension can be discussed. The responsibilities of this UROP include: - Participating brainstorming activity to generate additional ideas for workshop - Crafting specific learning objectives for the workshop - Gathering source materials and references needed - Communicating with subject matter experts (e.g. faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students) to gather additional information - Evaluate available resources in Huang-Hobbs BioMaker Space and adapt workshop accordingly - Preparing workshop documentation materials for attendees and instructors - Preparing a complete equipment list and a costed materials list - Regularly communicating with Dr. Buck about progress - Solicit and respond to feedback about the workshop content - Instructing the workshop (if and when feasible) strongly encouraged Workshops should feature highly visible or data-rich products to be exciting for the attendee and for development of workshop advertising materials. Students are welcome to propose topics for workshops, but some potential workshop topics and techniques include (all tentative and preliminary): 1) Media and Growth Condition Optimization / Bio-process Engineering 2) Bio-electrochemical Systems / Electrosynthesis 3) Metabolic Engineering Workshop 4) Phototrophy and Biofuels


Skills & Qualifications The UROP should have the following skills and qualifications: - Preference to Sophomore, Junior, or Senior in a relevant field of study (e.g. Chemical Engineering), but highly experienced and motivated First-Year Students also considered - Substantial experience in biological wet lab - Experience researching technical background materials - Familiarity with and excitement for subject matter relevant to the workshop - Self-motivated and ability to work independently - Strong communication skills, particularly writing skills - Available for ELO opportunity (see ELO website for criteria)