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BioTech Engineering Design Challenge for Grades 6–8

Posted by EiE Team on Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Happy MASS STEM Week! Today, Monday October 17th marks the beginning of the annual MASS STEM Week, a coordinated effort to boost the interest, awareness, and ability for all learners to envision themselves in STEM education and future careers. This year’s theme is “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring.

To support the celebration we have created a FREE BioTech Engineering Design Challenge perfect to do with students in grade 6–8! This year’s challenge will take place over the five days of STEM week and explore the design and production of bioplastics, including the engineering design process and developing their own plastics.

  • On Monday, students will ask questions about the challenge of reducing plastic waste and investigate the conventional plastics around their school.
  • On Tuesday, students will try different bioplastic processes to determine how these processes affect the resulting bioplastics.
  • On Wednesday, students will choose items to make from bioplastic, then use what they’ve learned to design and carry out a development process.
  • On Thursday, students will test how well their bioplastics work. Using their findings, they will improve their designs and make them again. They will also set up a long-term test of biodegradability.
  • On Friday, students will consider how and to whom they want to communicate their findings. They will also have the chance to attend a webinar with real biotechnology engineers where they will discuss submitted questions from challenge participants.

To participate in this year’s Design Challenge, login and/or create an account on Learn.EiE.org to access the FREE challenge. Look for the Engineering Design Challenge unit that includes everything you’ll need to complete the challenge with your students: instructions, a pre-recorded, step-by-step challenge walkthrough instructional webinar, interactive Pear Deck slides, a careers in biotech webinar to sign up for, and more! 


To help educators prepare to complete the design challenge with their own students, our expert educator Malloy Schmidt hosted a step-by-step challenge walkthrough instructional webinar. 

After you’ve completed this year’s Design Challenge with your learners we invite you to fill out our feedback survey and to watch the recording of our Careers in BioTech webinar hosted in companion with the Design Challenge.

We hope you’ll celebrate MASS STEM Week with your students and with us. We can’t wait to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments and the feedback survey. Happy teaching!

Written by EiE Team

Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers, Engineering Design Process, Create a Generation of Problem Solvers, Engineering Activities, Mass STEM Week, Learn.EiE

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