BwoB founders Megan Wallner and Ellen Jorgensen started Hack the Helix in 2017 as a pilot program to support NYC STEM teachers who wanted to include molecular biology in their curricula. Our facility is a great place to try out new labs before doing them with your class. Plus you can use us as a staging area, preparing things like agar plates, solutions and sterile consumables. When you feel confident, you can even bring your class to the lab to deliver the lesson.
Partnering with Math for America, we offered MfA teachers training sessions that provide science teachers professional development by teaching the basics of biotechnology. We share how cutting edge DNA technology, like PCR and gene editing can be translated in the high school classroom or laboratory.
We have partnered with biotech supply companies, nonprofit organizations and science professionals to get donations of free supplies for NYC public school teachers. Enzymes, plasmids, DNA extraction kits and loaner equipment are available. We buy supplies in bulk, make many of our own solutions and reagents, and can help you hack your classroom to get what you need to teach great molecular science.
In conjunction with Math for America, Biotech without Borders became a PLT (Professional Learning Team) experience in the fall of 2018 around molecular biology skills. Public high school science teachers met monthly to share best practices and get on-demand access to equipment, training and mentoring. We are continuing this program as long as there in continued interest.
Even if you are not an MfA Master Teacher, you can still participate in Hack the Helix. Briefly tell us about your teaching practice and how Biotech Without Borders can help support you.Connect with us