Hershey, Pennsylvania - Professional Development Workshop at Penn State Hershey Medical Center


BioBuilder Summer 3-day workshops prepare educators to bring biological engineering and synthetic biology into their classrooms and laboratories, including:


  • Lectures that connect the science, technology, engineering, and math aspects of these fields.

  • Labs and classroom activities taught from the online resource and the BioBuilder textbook published by O’Reilly.

  • Discussion with members of the university research community.

  • Activities that address human practice questions such as the safety, security, economics and wisdom of engineering novel biological systems.

  • Activities that address the nuts and bolts of running a BioBuilderClub or iGEM team.

  • Attendees receive a copy of the BioBuilder textbook, all workshop classroom materials in ready to use formats, lunch each day, and a certificate of completion.


Who should apply?  This workshop is intended for:


  • High school and middle school Biology and STEM teachers, including those looking for new ways to teach the AP content or for compelling material to teach college-bound students.

  • College-level instructors looking for classroom and lab curricula to include in a biotechnology-style class.

  • Science Club leaders, in particular anyone looking for ways to bring cutting-edge content to students with a variety interests from math to biology to electronics.


Register online here.


  • Tuition is $400 when registered by April 1 (early-bird); $500 after April 1st.

  • A non-refundable registration/deposit fee of $50 is due upon application, reserving your place in the workshop. For those paying only the deposit at the time of registration, the remaining balance is due 30 days in advance of the workshop.

  • Scholarships are available by request.  To request an application, email with the subject line: “Request for Summer Workshop Scholarship Form.” 


Lead Instructors:

Dr. Patricia Silveyra, MSc, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Humanities at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She received her Master’s in Molecular Biology and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and she did her postdoctoral training in lung physiology at Penn State University.


Lauren Chiota is a Biology Teacher and Science Department Chair at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her past work experience includes being a clinical genomics research technician at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and working on STEM curriculum development and advocacy at the Museum of Science in Boston. She completed her Master of Education degree from Boston College. She leads a team with the BioBuilderClub.


Minimum of 15 participants required.  Details will be emailed to participants 1 month prior to the workshop, including directions, parking, lodging recommendations.

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