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High School Students

Welcome! We are so glad you found out about the STEM Pathways program here at Boston University. As a high school student looking to pursue the STEM fields in further education, STEM Pathways has many opportunities for you to grow your skill set, connect with fellow students as well as gain mentorship from those in the field. Our partnership with BioBuilder will ensure that you develop all the skills necessary to make you a competitive applicant in your future endeavors.

STEM Pathways will support efforts to promote Synthetic Biology education and outreach efforts to students, with an emphasis on underrepresented minority students, in the local Boston Area in grades K-12. In addition, STEM Pathways will help prepare undergraduate students for higher level academic and/or professional careers in Synthetic Biology fields. To achieve these goals, STEM Pathways currently facilitates: summer research internships, journal clubs with a focus on ethics, professional development seminars, hackathons, and hands-on laboratory workshops

Synthetic Biology Basics Course

STEM Pathways converted PI Densmore’s Computational Synthetic Biology for Engineers course into a three-session online course that is appropriate for high school students.

This course presents the field of computational Synthetic biology through the lens of four distinct activities:

SPECIFICATION                 DESIGN                  ASSEMBLY                  TEST

The course – Synthetic Biology Basics: Introduction, Implementation, and Applications – is offered (at no cost) for high school students in the United States (including rising 9th graders and recent graduates) who are interested in learning more about this fast-growing field. Taking place remotely – the first 40 minutes of each session comprises of a synchronous lecture (taught by an established BU professor), and the course material is then discussed in greater detail afterwards, in break out rooms (<10 students per room) led by Boston University graduate students.


BioBuilder Weekend Workshops

Get the opportunity to learn hands on Molecular and Synthetic Biology skills at Boston University partnered with BioBuilder. These weekend workshops are designed to give students applicable skills in the newly emerging field to make them a competitive applicant in the world of STEM. Students can learn a variety of skills such as pipetting and gel electrophoresis and gain a deeper understanding of certain Biological protocols. The BioBuilder Educational Foundation offers the only comprehensive curriculum in the emerging field of synthetic biology, providing curricular materials, work-readiness programs for high school students, and teacher professional development for advanced life sciences and bioengineering.


Computational Biology Hackathon

STEM Pathways offers a Genetic Engineering and Computational Biology based hackathon where students are guided through the basics of Python principles applied to certain Biological circumstances. These guided lessons incorporated elements of Computational Biology in which students parse through data and model certain Biological phenomena. THere are several iterations of the hackathon that vary from module to module, however the hackathon is open to any high school student with any level of computational background such as those with no coding experience to those that take classes such as AP Computer Science.



STEM Pathways Mini Jamboree

STEM Pathway’s Mini Jamboree event is a free, interactive day of learning and fun to increase awareness of Synthetic Biology. The day starts with a social event where STEM Pathways leadership and STEM Pathways volunteers meet high school students and parents to engage in discussion about interest in the world of STEM. With a collaboration with our partner BioBuilder, the high school students rotate through three modules, so that they are able to participate in three interactive Synthetic Biology activities. Simultaneously, representatives from the BU Admissions office and the BU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program office give short talks to the parents/adults who attend the mini-Jamboree.


How can I get involved in these events?

All of the opportunities run in three iterations over the course of the year in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Each of the opportunities for high school students comes with a special registration form that is released accordingly. Stay connected with our [STAY CONNECTED] form to be informed when registration for these events are open. 



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