Buzz on Biotechnology

Saturday, September 28, 2019
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Georgia Tech
Petit Biotech Building
315 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332


Each fall the Petit Institute hosts one of its largest outreach events, the Buzz on Biotechnology High School Open House. This science fair open house is held each fall on a Saturday, and is organized entirely by graduate students from Bioengineering and Bioscience Unified Graduate Students (BBUGS) education and outreach committees to encourage high school students to indulge in their scientific curiosity. 

NOTE: All attendees under the age of 18 years old must submit a completed and signed parental release form to attend the open house. Download this form here and email it prior to the event to Colly Mitchell to finalize registration for those individuals. You may send a scanned copy of the signed form, or you may also send a CLEAR and LEGIBLE photographed copy of the form. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Colly Mitchell.


Buzz on Biotechnology allows:

  • Students, teachers, parents, siblings, to see innovative research at Georgia Tech
  • Explore Tech's campus and the state-of-the-art Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience
  • Engage in hands-on science and engineering concepts
  • View sample demonstrations
  • Tour research laboratories
  • Receive GT admissions materials
  • School groups must provide 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students, a maximum of 40 students per any one school group or organization 

State-of-the-art biotech lab tours are part of the fun at Buzz on Biotech! Check out the list of cutting edge labs that will be available for tours this year (each guest will receive one lab tour assignment at check-in):

Microneedles and Drug Delivery (Mark Prausnitz lab)
Exciting Neural Activity (Rob Butera lab)
Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine (Andrés García lab)
Engineering Orthopedic Tissues & Biomaterials (Temenoff lab)
Engineered Immunotherapy (Susan Thomas lab)
Immunoengineering (Krishnendu Roy lab)
Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering (M.G. Finn lab)
Redox Systems Biology (Melissa Kemp lab)
Systems and Synthetic Biology (Mark Styczynski lab)

The organizers are hard at work on the 2019 lineup of seminars and demonstrations for this year's open house! In the meantime, check out all of the great offerings from the 2018 event, and keep checking back for the updated list!

Each seminar is offered 3 times during the open house!

Gene Editing and CRISPR
Neuroengineering and Sensation
Sickle Cell Disease


3D Printing: Everyone has used a printer to put images or words on paper, but have you ever heard of a printer that can make something 3D?! 3D printers are a new technology which can be used to print materials that are the same shapes as tissues in your body. Come experiment with some 3D printing pens and see what you can create!

Alginate Beads: Have you ever wondered what makes gummy bears rubbery? Come learn about polymerization as it relates to sodium alginate and gummy bears.

Animal Bots: Come see the Turtle-Bot and Salamander-Bot! These animal-like robots mimic the way these real animals walk – come see them challenged in different environments - from the Daniel Goldman C.R.A.B. Lab.

Cabbage Acids and Bases: If you thought cooked cabbage was only good for stinking up your kitchen, think again. Come find out how cabbage can tell you the pH of the common substances around your house with colorful solutions.

Cardiovascular Anatomy: Touch the hearts of pigs and mice to learn the function of the various structures that will make your heart beat! This demonstration will introduce you to the basics of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.

Crystallization and the Origins of Life: All living things make more of themselves and to understand the origin of life we have to understand how molecules can come into existence and reproduce. Come learn how crystal growth in supersaturated solutions can be related to growth of biopolymers.

Enzymatic Magic: Enzymes are specialized proteins with capabilities to recognize specific molecules and catalyze, or accelerate, chemical reactions. Enzymes make life possible, in humans and in other familiar forms of life.

Explosion of Color: Many times in biology, it is necessary for like substances to mix together and separate from each other. In this demo, see a colorful example of this principle.

Egg Drop: Millions of Americans ride bicycles, but less than half wear bicycle helmets. In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20. Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments. Prevention of head injuries is possible by wearing a properly fitted helmet. Learn about the important design criteria for helmets and then use this knowledge to design a "helmet" for a raw egg. After designing your egg helmet, stop by at 12:30 for the Egg Drop Competition - Prizes given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners with the lightest, unbroken "helmets!"

Eye Anatomy: Learn about the function of the eye and how the complex structure affects the things we see, using real eyes as a visual aide!

Genes by All Means: We all know that DNA is the template of life, but did you know you can extract it from food using common household products? Watch DNA be extracted from peas… right before your eyes!

Iodine Clock: How do you make a clock with no batteries, gears, or hands? With a cool, color changing chemical reaction of course!

Lava Lamps: Water and oil don’t mix well, but we can exploit their opposing properties to make fun lava lamps. Come check out the lamps and learn about how hydrophobicity works.

Outer Space in a Jar: You may have heard before that outer space is a vacuum, but what does that really mean? Come see a tabletop vacuum chamber and learn about the effects of air pressure!

Medical Robotics: How is it that robots can be designed to do surgery? Come visit the demo by the Medical Robotics and Automation Lab at Georgia Tech where they will have some of their robots on display.

Miracle Berries: Have you ever wondered what makes sweet foods taste sweet and sour food taste sour? Come taste a miracle berry which tricks your taste buds into thinking sour foods are sweet!

Oobleck: Oobleck is a slimy substance with special properties that cause its hardness to change with force. Come make some Oobleck and learn about the properties of a non-Newtonian substance!

Viscoelasticity: Remember playing with silly putty? In our viscoelasticity demo, you can learn how to make it out of common household chemicals. Take some home and learn about how its properties are used in science and in the body.

For event inquiries, please contact Colly Mitchell